With the internet, you have access to a limitless supply of knowledge. Unfortunately, sometimes a desire to digest all of that knowledge at once can lead to a technology addiction. And with your smart phone, all that information is accessible everywhere you go – though some might argue this is completely at the mercy of their service carrier!
Not only is the internet a vast encyclopedia of knowledge, but other related advances in technology have given us many tools to potentially make our lives much easier. There are an infinite number of apps to meet every need, instant messaging tools to reach anyone, online banking and online payday loan tools that allow you to get approved for a loan in a fraction of the time it used to take, and software that can help you design just about anything.
So why does it sometimes seem like we are completely missing out on the benefits of technology by getting less and less done throughout the day?
The biggest reason for this disconnect between the potential power of technology and how we actually use it has to do with our personal habits. If you can change the way you consume technology, then you can avoid a technology addiction and begin to harness it in a way that makes aspects of your life far more convenient. Soon you will be controlling all of your techno-gadgets, instead of letting them control you.
Here are 5 steps toward taking control of the technology in your life:
Step 1: Embrace Technology
If you’ve somehow gotten the impression from the first part of this blog that all technology is bad, then allow me to clarify: Technology is incredibly useful, and it’s not a bad idea to embrace it in your personal and professional lives.
But as with any other habit we might enjoy, the amount of time we spend overindulging in technological devices can get out of hand. Add to this the fact that all this technology surrounding us has the potential to take over our entire existence, and suddenly we begin to see that it can actually impair our ability to live a balanced, happy life.
Which brings us to step 2:
Step 2: Limit Tech Usage
One healthy way to approach tech usage is to consider the purpose you are using it for. Is it for educational, work or recreational purposes? If it’s for work, then your parameters are probably pretty well defined in the areas of productivity and personal conduct. Try not to deviate from these in terms of what you are permitted to do, and what is expected of you.
If you are using technology for educational purposes, it’s always a good idea to have a plan:
- Allocate a specific amount of time, or time frames, for your tech use.
- Structure this time according to the type of information or experience you need to gain.
- For research purposes, make a list of the information or skills you need come away with.
- Use reputable search engines, sources and instructional mediums.
- Take your breaks away from the screen to avoid getting distracted by social media, click bait or other alluring but time consuming cyber offerings.
If you are using technology for recreational purposes remember; allowing yourself time to use and enjoy your gadgets is not a bad thing, as long as it does not interfere with anything you should be doing at that time. As soon as you allow technology to interfere with what you should be doing it starts to become an addiction. To avoid the addiction, set a clear and reasonable time limit for your recreational usage. How much time you allow yourself to browse the internet or play a game on your smart phone is entirely up to you – you probably already have a good idea of when things start to get out of hand.
Step 3: Know When to Shun Technology
Sometimes you’ve got to buckle down and get things done. A beeping phone or pop-up email might shatter your concentration. You need to be able to turn these things off and place them far away from your mind, or even your reach, until the task at hand is finished. Alternatively, you can set specific times each day for when you will check and respond to messages.
Step 4: Technology Doth Not a Relationship Make
It’s pretty ridiculous when you see a group of friends at dinner, completely immersed in their smart phones instead of enjoying each other’s company. But if you’re not careful, technology can have this effect on anyone. Social media is not a substitute for the type of social interaction that occurs when people are physically (and mentally!) present.
Similarly, any relationship conducted via cyber communication cannot compete with actual physical interaction. Real conversations are made up of more than words and emoji’s are not a legitimate substitute for facial expressions, body gestures and vocal intonations.
It’s simple: when you are with your family, friends, and loved ones, make sure you’re spending quality time with them, instead of splitting your attention between them and your smart phone.
Step 5: Use Technology to Better Yourself
Finally, what good would technology be if we didn’t use it to better ourselves? Find an online tutorial to learn a new skill, use software to create music, or download a good household budgeting app to help you get out of debt and save money. Whatever your passion is, there’s technology out there to help you along the way!
Once you’ve figured out how to avoid a technology addiction and strike a good healthy balance with technology, you’ll finally be able to unleash its true power in your life; you might be amazed at what it’s possible for you to accomplish when you use technology effectively, rather than just spending all day looking up funny cat pictures!
How do you avoid a technology addiction? Let us know in the comments section below.