Technology is everywhere these days. We use it to get us up for our daily lives, it is how we relax, and it is how many of us make a living for our families. However, too much technology surrounding our lives can be a negative thing. Parents are always telling children the importance of limiting screen time, but rarely take a look at their own dependency on their devices. Here are a few ways to know if technology is taking over your life and how to fix it.
Oops! I Left My Phone
We have all done it. You walk out of the house or leave work only to realize that your phone is not with you. The first instinct is to turn right around and get it, just in case anything happens while commuting to your everyday activities. Things can happen while driving but think back 50 years ago. The world has drastically changed since 1970, especially in the technology department. 50 years ago, we did not have cell phones and somehow survived. If you were stuck in traffic, there was no way to call, but your boss often understood. Your family understood that you might be late for dinner due to traffic as well. It was no big deal, but these days, we think we must have the ability to contact people for any reason.
If you leave your phone, calm down. It will be there when you get back. Should you have an accident, someone will have a cell phone you can borrow. Keep a hardcopy of emergency numbers in your vehicle, purse, or wallet. Phones can fail and often do, so having a set of numbers will allow you to always have a way to contact someone should something happen.
Social Media Posts
This one is something that everyone today can relate to. Social media is one of our main means of information. We can contact anyone through social media avenues and we can argue with perfect strangers about everything. It is great but is it really. The art of true conversation is lost in many ways today. Texting and messaging on social media do not allow for proper conversation.
When talking to another human in person, we use body language to get our point across. Facial expressions, the use of our hands, and how we carry our eyes will impact the conversation in a positive or negative way. Perception gets confused when you take away the human quality and the only way you have to express your feelings is through emojis and GIFs. Talk more in person than you do on your social media apps. Arguing with strangers is just a waste of time.
Are You Approachable?
One of the easiest things to do while out at a restaurant alone, or even with friends is to hide behind our phones. We want to check on something, so we excuse ourselves from the conversation to stare at our phones or we do not want to be bothered when we are in public alone. Someone with their face in their phone gives off the perception of being unapproachable.
Leave the phone in your vehicle when heading out with friends or to dinner alone. It is understandable that you want to be reachable, but the likelihood of someone really needing to get in touch with you within that 1-hour space of time at a restaurant or in a bookstore, is highly unlikely. Take time away from your phone, even if it is just for a little while and remain approachable in public settings. At home, put your phone down and encourage your family members to do the same. Spend time together as a family, maybe clean the house or declutter the garage. You will feel better and more connected as a family.
Do You Require the Latest and Greatest Versions?
A new model of cell phone emerges sometimes on a weekly basis. Keeping up with the latest and greatest smartphones is something that is common in today’s world. People want to have the best and getting the latest phone or device is the best way to do this. However, phones are not made to be disposable. If your phone is a few models old, it is ok. Even though we may think others pay attention to the type of phone we have, they generally do not. There is no real need to continually update your phone. As long as it makes calls and has the features you need, it is ok. Getting too involved with technology can be a problem. We have computers in our cars, offices, homes, and even fast food establishments these days. Take a step back from the technology. When you come home from work, do not open your phone and look through your social media. If you are working from home because of the pandemic treat quitting time as if you were leaving your office, close your laptop, turn your phone off and spend time with your family. Have a game night or go on a picnic, you will find that when you put your phone and other technology-based devices away, your life becomes more manageable. We are all connected to technology, but it is also perfectly fine to unplug for a while too.