More and more people are becoming aware of the impact of smartphones, tablets, and easy Internet access on our ability to think, maintain relationships, and remain productive. It has even been proposed that overuse of technological media can change our brains structurally in ways that will, over time, rob us of the ability to think deeply and utilize our cognitive horsepower! This is a controversial topic, and undoubtedly people will have varying opinions, but no one can argue that various forms of technology are changing how we interact with each other. So, how does this apply to mental health, and the military specifically? Well, we know that healthy relationships contribute to good mental health, and conversely, troubled relationships create risk for mental health problems. Perhaps some of today’s relationship woes and mental health problems are a by-product of our increasing use of technological gadgets.
To learn more about this possibility in a military context, I interviewed Lt. Col. Kirk Rowe, an Air Force neuropsychologist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.