“There are few times that I feel more at peace, more in tune, more Zen, if you will, than when I force myself to unplug.” ~Harlan Coben
“The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men.” ~Havelock Ellis
“Lo! Men have become the tools of their tools.” ~Henry David Thoreau
“Life is what happens when your cell phone is charging.” ~Unknown
“We’re living an era when capturing moments using our phones is more important than actually living these moments with whoever is beside us.” ~Unknown
Have you ever really stopped to think about how addicted people have become to technology: video games, social media, Google searching, or whatever else they can find to occupy their time?
For whatever reason, this 21st century virus has been on my radar. Whether it is through books I read, clients, or my own personal experience, I am becoming particularly aware of the seriousness of our addiction to our computers and phones.
It affects our relationships, our health, and our ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
The funny thing is, I think most people are also very aware of this addiction. Very few, however, actually do anything about it. It has become somewhat socially accepted.
Everyone is talking about it, but what are they doing about it, other than allowing it to fester and get worse?
I don’t really have to go into detail about the many examples out there of where our phones and computers are becoming more important than sleep, relationships, voice-to-voice conversation, eye contact, or just relaxing to name a few of life’s pleasures.
Pay attention to your own behaviors and see where you may be letting technology impact your health, your relationships, your life.
Over the last while I have made a conscious effort to unplug and at times detox from the use of technology.
To unplug I decided to turn my computer off before dinner, so don’t expect me to be returning emails in the evening. When I enter my home, I leave my phone in the kitchen in a specific spot—either to be charged for the night or to be ignored. The only people who get my attention from my phone in the evening would be my children. I never, ever, ever bring my phone into the bedroom; that is sacred space and the only interaction I want happening in there is with my husband.
As for detoxing, I have been trying to go for an entire weekend without the use of my computer, leaving email and social media for the work week. So again, if I don’t respond on the weekend you know why. I haven’t quite been able to go an entire weekend without my phone, primarily because of my children. I am trying, however, to make telephone use more of a must-do versus an addictive habit.
When in the company of others, I leave my phone in my purse, often on vibrate. I hope people come to realize I am not ignoring them if I don’t respond right away; I am being respectful and giving the person I am with my full attention. If I do need to use my phone, I ask the person I am with if they mind and I make sure it is for a very good reason, something that cannot wait.
What I find is this: I have more time for other things I love to do. I sleep better, I feel more at peace, I am less stressed and happier as a result. Certainly I am not perfect, and I slip up from time to time. Who said this was easy?
Addiction to technology is real, just as real as alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, gambling, and drugs. It hurts and affects our lives in ways we may not be aware of or truly understand.
Take a look and see where you are being affected and try unplugging (that is, setting up healthier boundaries) once in a while and detoxing when you can. You will feel better for it!Click here to schedule your free call with Gina.