How to Avoid a Love/Hate Relationship with Technology
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us depend on technology 24/7 to keep up with the world, stay connected with friends and family, and provide a working computer base for our jobs. Sometimes we can’t get enough. Other times we get way too much. We are not about to abandon our phones, jobs or connections with those around us, but there are things we can do to make the relationship a better one.
WellAndGood.com turned to Liza Kindred, founder of Mindful Technology, for advice. Kindred says one of the biggest mistakes that we all make is not taking the time to create a game plan for our technology. Here are a few of her tips.
Start Tracking Your Usage
Kindred says, “The first time I used a phone-usage tracking app, I learned that I checked my phone an average of 150 times a day, and I’m in the business of not doing so! Apps like Checky, Moment, Mute, and Freedom can gather data about how you use your phone.” What seems like a few calls may be way more than you expected.
Take Control of Blue Light
Reducing exposure to your phone, and the blue light it emits, is a good start. A new study from the University of Toledo found blue light creates a toxic reaction in the eye’s retina molecules causing permanent damage to light sensitive cells.
Change your screen usage. Stop using all screens, including television, an hour before bedtime. Wear blue light-blocking glasses in the evening. Use Apple’s Night Shift mode for an iPhone, and app f.lux on the computer to warm up tones at night.
Take a Closer Look at Tech Habits
Do you lose hours to Netflix binges? - In the same way you take breaks from sitting at work to stretch your muscles, try walking around for five minutes between episodes.
Are you online instead of sleeping? - Start setting prompts for the same bedtime every night to trim random browsing and disconnect for better sleep. If you can manage it, park your phone, TV and tablets outside of the bedroom.
Has your phone become an appendage? - Some researchers say our phones are the last thing that we are willing to give up in the assortment of technology that we use. If you feel you could use a little separation time from yours, take short walks, bike rides, or time outs for meditation or mat exercises.
Make It a “Win-Win” Relationship
Give some thought to see how you can change a potential love/hate relationship with technology into a win-win one where you get just enough to enjoy its benefits without becoming its slave. Whatever that formula is depends on you. We all have different capacities for information, energy, endurance and curiosity. The key is finding the one that fits.
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