Oh the love/hate relationship with technology. Mostly love and occasional moments of regret and longing for more out of life. It’s crazy that we can love and devote so much time to something that also leads us to feel emotions of regret, jealousy, dissatisfaction, and nothing. The moments of regret may come after binge watching an entire season in three days. Jealousy comes when we see the posts and updates from our friends who seem to have the perfect life. Dissatisfaction comes when we feel like we can’t measure up to all that we see online. The feeling of nothingness and blah comes when we have vegged out for hours on every means of technology.
How do you create a life balance with technology?
Technology is amazing and fits so well into our lives, and yet the negative effects include isolation, depression, disrupted sleep, impaired memory, shortened attention span, tendonitis, lack of imagination and creativity, anxiety, changes in mood, obesity, underdeveloped social skills, desensitization, violence, and the list goes on. That’s scary! (At least for a moment it’s scary).
Here are some of the responses that arise when considering adding boundaries and limits to the use of technology.
What if I’m only using technology when I’m bored?
Boredom is an amazing gift (says an optimist). Boredom is what allows us time to be creative, to search for something, to imagine a story, to challenge us to talk to somebody, to try something new and outside our comfort, to sort through our memories, and to take notice of our surroundings. Life has so many quirky, ironic, and interesting things occurring all around us. Your own voice has so much potential to be developed. So, find moments when you can push yourself to struggle through your boredom without filling it up with technology.
How can I be a good friend,employee,boss,parent if I’m not always available by phone,text,email?
The words “always” and “never” can really trap us into acting and thinking in ways that are unhelpful. Yes, you can still be a good friend when you are available for the moments that you set aside for that role. You are the one who can decide your limits and your boundaries while knowing that being present in a situation without distraction speaks volumes to the importance to the people whom you are physically with.
But I really like knowing everything and being caught up on all of the trends. Knowing everything is a fun, yet unattainable goal. Trends and knowledge and gossip and information and everything else on the internet will keep changing. And your life will keep moving forward moment by moment whether you want to be a part of it or not. There comes a point when you have to intentionally choose to stop information gathering in order to engage with life. Decide how much of it is pleasure and how much is excess.
What are the easiest ways that I can practice some technology/life balance?
- No electronics (phones, TV, ebooks, internet, video games, etc.) at the dinner table. Talk, enjoy the silence, savor the meal, pay attention to other people
- Turn off the TV when you’re not watching it. Enjoy the silence, sort through your thoughts, finish a task, talk with people, start a hobby
- Silence your phone. Find the important moments of your life that you can prioritize by being fully present. Maybe even start with silencing your phone at nighttime.
- Phone calls. Maybe once a day or week, challenge yourself to call instead of text. Phone calls catch nuances, nonverbal cues, jokes, sarcasm, exasperation, silence, and much more content than can be texted in words or emoji’s.