With the electronic gadgets available today, you can stay connected 24/7, but should you? Yes, you can reach out to anyone in the world and conduct business at any time of the day with a few keystrokes on your phone, but is there a cost?
Experts say……yes there is! One of the first to speak out about setting boundaries with technology was Ariana Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and author of Thrive and Sleep Revolution. Huffington, by all accounts, was a very successful woman who seemingly had it all. But after she passed out a few years ago, which included a bloody fall on her cheek and eye, Huffington realized that her relentless, workaholic lifestyle was partially to blame.
Huffington’s fall was caused by exhaustion and lack of sleep, so she began to make changes in her life. In addition to getting more hours of restful sleep, she began to set boundaries with her phone as a way to recapture her quality of life.
To keep you from literally having to get hit in the head from your overuse of technology, here are some tips that will help you use, but not be abused, by today’s electronic gadget
1)Control it, instead of letting it control you.
About 15 years ago, more people began getting their work emails on their personal phone. Suddenly, there was no “leaving it at the office,” because the office was everywhere your phone was. Many began sleeping with their phone to be available 24/7 and many began the habit of checking their phone as they awoke.
They were controlled by their technology. They were also at the beck and call of anyone trying to get their attention, a habit that’s easy to slip into and leaves you feeling overwhelmed and unproductive.
At that time, there were also a few that saw the ability to get emails on your phone as an opportunity, rather than a curse of the times. Instead of seeing it as a restraint, they felt it provided the kind of freedom they never had. They saw that it could be used for productivity, not just for reactivity. For example, they could now leave work early to take a child to the doctor and still be able to respond to the boss’s important email. They were in control of the tool, not the other way around.
2) Set boundaries with your devices.
When you go to sleep, put your phone in another room on silent, and don’t check it until you’re ready to start your day on your terms. Generally speaking, it’s best to stop checking your phone an hour before bedtime and one hour after getting up in the morning. This puts you in control, not the device.
Do you spend mindless hours playing games on your phone or tablet? Do hours go by while you’re catching up with Facebook? Ask yourself how much of your time you want to spend on your devices and set good limits. Remember, every minute you spend engaging with online distractions is a minute you could be spending interacting with an actual person. And studies show that there is no substitute for actual human contact which increases healthy bonding hormones like oxytocin which is associated with lower blood pressure and less cellular inflammation.
3)Take a technology break.
In Las Vegas in July 2018, Bruno Mars surprised concertgoers by taking away access to their cell phones during his show. As you handed your ticket to the ticket collector, he or she provided you with a case for your cell phone that had a magnetic seal, which could only be opened after Mars’s performance.
At first, people didn’t know what to do! They were so uncomfortable without their “security blanket.” They couldn’t take a picture, call, or text anyone. All that was left was to engage with others in the crowd.
Slowly but surely, people began to talk and laugh and share experiences with their neighbors. And when Mars took the stage, all eyes were on him. No one was filming or blowing up Twitter. Instead everyone was singing and dancing.
Could you attend a concert without touching your phone? It would be difficult and uncomfortable for many people, at least at first. Can you take a break from technology at least for a few hours? It might be challenging at first, but like Bruno’s audience, you’ll enjoy being present, without distractions and interruptions, more than you might expect.
Technology is here to stay, so it makes sense to figure out how to make the best of it instead of letting it get the best of you.
How do you set boundaries with technology?
What other boundaries do you set that help you achieve balance in today’s busy world?
What tips can you offer to someone attached to their phone 24/7?
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