The Technology Takeover
Well look at where we have come with the disturbance of technology. Technology is meant to make the human experience better, correct? I mean I can’t wait until my car operates like Kit (the 80’s super car). I already talk to my watch LOL. Google it if you don’t know about Kit.
Let’s take inventory, shall we? I have a television in my kitchen, a smart television in my living room and bedroom. Echo and an Echo Dot (Alexa runs my life). My window air conditioner (I live in a very old house) is connected to Wifi and I have an app on my phone to control it. I have two cell phones (one for work and one for personal – work/life balance). I have a personal laptop and a tablet for work. Two Kindles (one for reading and a tablet). Last I have a smartwatch, we are not going to discuss my kitchen gadgets. Truthfully, I’m not sure if my life has gotten easier having all of these THINGS but I am afraid not to have them. What does that say about me, I capitalized things for a reason…..
The other day while getting dressed for work, I heard a reporter discussing the theory of disconnecting or unplugging from technology in order to give your brain some downtime. I thought to myself, “Why would I need downtime from technology?”. Come to find out humans spend more time consuming (listening to music, playing videos games “crushing the candy”, or streaming movies) and less time being creative or exploring. Even when we go to a new restaurant we take time to “check in”, snap pictures of the menu, the beverages are ordered and more pictures are taken, appetizers hit the table – wait another picture, then the main course – more pictures, and we can’t leave out dessert. Now don’t get me wrong I have to show the world that my meal was amazing! But think of all the time I took away from communicating and connecting with my meal partner. Let’s not even talk about how the waitress/er has to be a great photographer or the whole review is going to be awful. Please don’t pretend that you don’t know what review I am speaking of #socialmedia.
Have we moved away from face-to-face interaction? Take inventory of all the times you actually looked someone in their eyes while communicating. Just think how many times you have read a message and misinterpreted the tone due to your own feelings. Do you go to meetings or conferences with your device in your hand and then pick it up to check emails or messages? Have you ever stopped to think about how the person who is speaking or presenting feels? Human connection (face-to-face) is becoming a lost art. I am still a believer of meeting someone and having a conversation. I am now becoming more aware of how many times I am having a conversation and stop to check one of my many THINGS.
Multi-Tasking or Adult A.D.D*
Okay let’s be clear on one subject, we all believe we are the best at multi-tasking. I can listen to voice messages, answer emails, and organize my calendar at the same time. But can I??? Studies show that multi-tasking is a sign that a person isn’t able to concentrate on one project at a time. Think about it, you have to literally stop doing one thing to do another we are not actually doing them at the same time. Next time you are interacting with someone either in a meeting, a speaker at a conference, or a meal try concentrating solely on the conversation. No phones or technology just some good ole’ fashion listening.
1st Step is Admitting the Issue
Some say we have all become addicted to technology. You are probably thinking “I’m not addicted, I don’t need my phone at all times.”. Well try leaving your phone at home when you leave the house. You cannot fully realize your level of addiction until the item is removed. Are you having an ah-ha moment? I surely did while researching this topic.
Hello my name is Nicole and I cannot live without my phone.
Take a moment to see how strong of a pull your phone has on you when you walk away from it. Do you begin to go through withdrawals, are you beginning to sweat even thinking about it? Now think about stepping away from social media. Should I call 9-1-1??
What Can We Do?
There are a few tips that I found while reading about this topic. I am going to try a few and wanted to share them with you as well.
- Commit to not checking social media, email, or messages the first hour you wake-up. Try mentally preparing for your day.
- Schedule downtime each day. I am trying after work one hour of no technology just me time or face-to-face interaction only.
- Take breaks from time wasters (apps). I had a friend take a 30-day break from social media and at the end she learned so much about herself. I am going to try day by day and hopefully get to an extended period of time.
- Try using your phone for phone calls only (no texting, no emails, no apps) just the actual phone.
This has been a journey of revelation for me. I thought I had technology under control and I found that technology has me under control. I am going to try a few of these tips and hope that you will too. Remember, subscribe, share, and post your thoughts on this topic. Until next week.
*I take mental health serious and I hope this title does not offend anyone.