Blissful Belle

Be Happy, Feel Beautiful

Unplug and Unwind: How much technology is too much?


      When was the last time you had a face to face conversation with someone without texting or checking your phone? Or the last time you flipped through the pages of an actual book? It just hit you, didn’t it? We have become so obsessed with technology that we forgot how Blissful life can be without the constant distractions. People are attached to their iPhones, Blackberry’s, iPads, and kindles. We can’t go a day without them because we live in a highly digitalized society. Careers require you to use many forms of technology that are essential to your success at work. We readily turn to e-mails, social media and text messages for daily communication.Believe it or not, as beneficial as technology is, it also affects the way you live your everyday life in a negative light.

“These devices are spinning into addictions,” said Michael McKee, PhD, a psychologist in the Center for Behavioral Health at Cleveland Clinic. “People are not just getting overloaded; the technology is interfering with their lives and they’re developing withdrawal symptoms if they try to cut back.” Many people feed the addiction right up to the end of their day. “If you turn off the computer right before you go to bed, your mind is still in the race,” Dr. McKee notes. The world will not stop if you are not holding your cell phone in your hand at every moment of the day.
It is time to do a little experiment, just for self awareness. Unplug the technology for one day and see the difference it has on your regular routine. Sound impossible? Here are some ways to kick the habit if unplugging isn’t in the near future for you.

Unplug and interact: Is your Blackberry your best friend? It might sound reasonable, considering it knows everything about you and is always there when you need it. Rethink your priorities if technology is coming between you and your family. Technology can affect relationships, friendships, and social interactions in general. This is because your nose is buried in a digital device and you lose interest in socializing.

Unplug and ask why: Some people check their Facebook from a smart phone while they are eating breakfast, and check their e-mail at stoplights. Why? People want to stay up-to-date with the world. Keep records of “tech time” to track your behavior. “People are turning to electronic devices the same way they turn to food to ‘eat’ their feelings,” Dr. McKee said. “Ask yourself what you are avoiding by being so involved with these devices.” Having a smart phone at our fingertips can trick us into believing that we are saving time. The problem is that if you’re are searching, responding, and reading for 20 minutes every hour, the time will add up quickly. Why are you lying in bed checking your email every five minutes? Couldn’t it wait until the morning? Analyze these bad habits.

Unplug and Unwind: I know it sounds crazy, right? No use of technology for 24 hours seems like a death sentence. Unplugging in a world that is run by digital devices can get a little tricky. It is worth it. Stop checking Facebook every day after dinner and instead, spend some time exercising, reading a book, and spending face-to-face time with friends.

Technology monopolizes precious time. It is tough to acknowledge negative aspects of technology because we reap many benefits from it. Swap instant messaging for a night out on the town with friends. Use substitutions to to gradually decrease your time using technology.

  • You’ll avoid burnout. Unplugging for a few days can help you recharge your own battery pack.
  • You’ll reconnect with friends and family. The people you love appreciate your hard work, but they want the fun-loving version of you, too.
  • You’ll free up time for fun. Use muscles you haven’t worked in a while to bike, hike or swim.
  • You’ll gain perspective. Once you return to your smart phone you’ll realize the earth didn’t fall off its axis while you were away. Technology isn’t the end-all.

It is often said that everything in excess is bad. This saying also applies to the recent growth of technological devices in society. Keep technology in perspective and enjoy the simple aspects of life all around you.

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