addicted to tech

A previous study was done at the University of Maryland on a large group of students.  The students had to unplug from technology – no cell phones, no updating their Facebook profile – stuff like that.  The reasearchers found that the students had similar symptoms to those trying to get off drugs.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I don’t want to live life without my cell phone, iPad and the Internet.  But am I addicted?

It’s becoming a problem
Well, maybe, maybe not.  But one thing is certain, we all can use technology a little less.  Personally, I am tired of seeing people walking down the street, bumping into other people because they’re texting and not paying attention to where they are going.  Or hearing cell phones go off during graduation and other important ceremonies.  Or how about that person that is walking, on the train or whatever and talking all loud on their phone headset.  But I’m not one to talk.  Everything I’m telling you to do in this blog post, I am also telling myself to do, too.

Practical TIPS for unplugging and creating balance:
T – Timeframe: Have a set timeframe that you are going to use email, checking social media accounts, etc. ( I suggest checking first thing in the morning and then in the evening). Don’t just use gadgets or the computer for hours on end. Have limits.
I – Integrity: Create a Computer Use Contract to determine how you will use technology and gadgets.  Have a witness sign it and stick to it.
P – Public Areas: Don’t use electronics during dinner time, while driving, walking, etc.  Use this time to engage with others and your surroundings.  If you have to use your gadgets while walking or driving, make sure you are stationary.
S – Supervise: Be accountable to someone – your partner, best friend or some other trusted person.

But I can hear what some of you are thinking.  When I am at work, I have to check my email and my job sends me texts.  What’s a working girl to do?  This is all true.  If you have a job, chances are you are using a computer or some type of technology there that you have to interact with.  Some jobs will give you a cell phone, iPad and other gadgets that you have to use for work.  So, how can you unplug when you’re livelihood depends on it?

Tips to use tech less while maintaining productivity
Tasks – Do work instead of checking your email, texting, etc. constantly
Turn it off – Silence your email alerts, phone, etc when you need to get work done
Touch it once – Read the email once, take action (answer back, delete or save), then move on
Time it – Allocate a specific amount of time to email, computer use, etc., then get back to what you were working on
Trash it – Delete emails, voice mails you don’t need
Talk Less, Type more – Email over talking on the phone, texting, etc.

Do you think you are addicted to technology?  Why or why not?  What types of things do you hate seeing people do with their tech gadgets?  Write a comment and let me know what you think.  Also, if you like this post or found some value in it, please like this page and share it with your friends.