Have you ever wondered for how long do you sit in front of your laptop and mobile phones? An online survey revealed that an average person in USA is looking at screens for at least 12 hours a day!
I was speaking to a friend of mine and she mentioned since the pandemic hit last year she has been addicted to her phone. She orders almost everything online and rarely thinks about going out. She is also working from home and is in front of her laptop almost the entire day.The only reason she will step out of her house is because of her dog who she takes daily for 30 minute walks. She wanted to get rid of her addiction and that is when I came across this term known as ‘Technology Addiction’.
‘Technology addiction can be defined as frequent and obsessive technology-related behavior increasingly practiced despite negative consequences to the user of the technology.‘- FCD prevention works, 2017
So, how do we take the bull by the horns? Firstly, it is very important to understand that everything has its pros and cons and using technology is not a BAD thing. Be clear that you need freedom from addiction and not technology as a whole.
These are my top 3 recommendations which will help you deal with technology addiction.
- Start with small goals: Do not overwhelm yourself with completely avoiding technology. Set small and achievable goals for yourself. Try to set simple rules within your workplace or at home where it is not necessary to sit in front of a screen. For instance; no phones allowed at the dining table or no screen time 30 minutes before sleeping. In fact the more recent one that I have noticed is a lot of people tend to stare at their phones while waiting for their coffee or even to pick up a delivery which can easily be avoided. Do not use your phone as a way to shy away from awkward situations. Be easy on yourself.
- Intermittent fasting with technology: Intermittent fasting is practiced as a way to control one’s diet. You have an ‘eating window’ where you are allowed to eat and the rest of the hours you fast. For instance; if your eating window is from 12pm- 8pm, you fast for the remaining hours of the day. Follow the same logic with technology. Have a ‘window’ for the number of hours you need to be in front of your laptop or phone and the rest of the day try to be occupied elsewhere. It has been found that when you limit your laptop screen time you tend to be more productive. So, if I maintain my laptop time from 8am -5pm I will try to finish all my work without distractions as I know I have to squeeze everything in that ‘window’. Similarly, nowadays with phone you can track your screen time and keep it at a minimum.
- Technology de-clutter: Take a look around your room. How many technology based objects do you have? I have my phone, laptop, kindle, alexa, television to name the least and honestly I am literally just shifting from one screen to the other. So, try to maintain a room or a small corner which is just for relaxing. A ‘no technology zone’ where anyone who sits or enters that room either talks to one another or if you are staying alone then try reading a hardcover book instead of a kindle. You can even try your hand at crosswords, puzzles, drawing, painting, meditating or just exercising.
Life is simple but we insist on making it complicated.-Confucious
We have created these complicated gadgets thinking we can make life simpler for ourselves. However, these gadgets are now making our lives complicated. Let us use technology as a tool and not as a support system.