BlogWednesday 30 Jul 2014

How much is too much technology?

If technology is taking over your life, these 5 tips will help you find the balance between living with technology and living in the moment.

More and more we are living in a world where it is okay to be zoned into your device rather than into the events and people around you.

Communication is absorbed in 30 second sound grabs; and emotions are expressed via emoticons or a momentary glance up from the screen.

It isn’t a question of how much is ‘too much’ technology but rather how much time we are spending in a relationship with our technology rather than living in the moment.  

Family zoned into technology

Technology makes it easier to become disconnected from the people around you.

The light bulb is gradually going on for some... Gary Turk’s ‘Look up’ went viral on YouTube with over 8 million views within a week of posting and,  in the Sydney Morning Herald, Jake Cleland noted the growing tendency for bands to ban phones at their concerts so fans live in the moment of their performance.

The classic folk song ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ tells a similar story about relationships that don’t connect properly because the people involved are too busy, or zoned out, from each other. 

“A dozen smiling ‘selfies’ are no substitute for time spent... with another really interesting human being”

The following tips may not achieve world peace, which was the answer to everything in the beauty pageant movie ‘Miss Congeniality’, but they will help you re-focus your energy on living and learning in the now:

Tip 1 – Create boundaries

There are times and places when it is just not appropriate to use technology.  The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) suggests using mobile phone etiquette, which could as easily apply to I-pads, to establish boundaries for appropriate use of technology.

Look at your own life and signpost technology ‘no go’ zones; for example, no Facebook during study time.

Tip 2 – Set time limits

Your health and relationships are really good reasons to limit the amount of time you sit glued to technology.

Australia is quickly becoming a nation of obesity with increasing use of technology and sedentary lifestyles said to be to blame for the situation (read more...).  

By imposing limits on yourself, such as, no technology after 10pm; or committing to 10 minutes of activity for every hour with technology; you will ensure your body gets adequate rest – and you’ll have more quality time to spend with the people you care about.

Tip 3 – Multi-task less

The multi-tasking involved in the constant use of technology means living in a permanent state of distraction.  This can inhibit your ability to concentrate, and may make you more impatient with learning new and complex concepts.

Take the pressure off yourself by multi-tasking less. You will be able to get the task at hand done quickly and well.

Tip 4 – Lead by example

It doesn’t matter where you are – in the workplace, attending a class, out at a social event or at home – your behaviour can influence others.

Practice putting down your technology to focus on what is being said. 

Tip 5 – Practice the art of conversation

You can use the interesting blogs, clips and information you find while web-surfing to start face-to-face, tech-free conversations.  This is a great way to explore the opinions of others and to formulate your own.

Remember, a dozen smiling ‘selfies’ are no substitute for time spent sharing ideas with another really interesting human being.

Why this overpowering need to record things that won’t matter in 10 minutes? Are we worried about missing our 15 minutes of fame? 

Most people who are famous say it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.

Let’s face it if you, or someone you know, is going to be famous, your technological memory won’t mean a thing.  What will matter is the connection you shared before fame. 

Work on your relationships and who knows who will be on the top of that Backstage Pass list?

Every moment we spend replaying experiences already lived is time we don’t get to live ‘new’ moments… so here’s to living the best now moments possible!

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