We are so blessed with the technology available to us in our every day lives. As time passes, technology becomes smaller, lighter, and able to do more than we ever imagined. We walk around with a computer the size of our phones. We have tablets, laptops, desktops, and e-readers. Some of us have an Echo or Google Home which means we just have to ask our questions out loud and a device magically provides us the answers. It will even control the lights, music, and an array of other things in our home using voice commands. These technological advances have eased our lives tremendously. Unfortunately, along with the benefits come the possibility of additional stress or anxiety.
Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.Carrie Snow
I just spent an hour in a customer service chat for one of my devices. It wasn’t working correctly and after going through all the suggestions on the internet, and still no success, I decided to try a real human being. It turns out that the first customer service representative I was sent to was not a human being at all, but a computer who would try and solve my problem. Nope, even the computer was stumped so I was forwarded to what I think was a real person.
After 45 minutes of unplugging, re-plugging, restarting, uploading, and installing, still no success. The last line of the chat tells me that I need to contact the channel provider directly. Back to square one!
This experience makes me realize how fortunate we are to have these technological advances in our lives, but at the same time, how much stress they can cause us. It has been wonderful during this quarantine to be able to video-conference with our friends, family, and colleagues. We have so many things to hold our attention right at our fingertips that it is almost hard to be bored.
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.Elbert Hubbard
The difficulty lies in when we get addicted to the device. When we find it hard to put it down or shut it off. If we live with other people, do we spend more time on our phones or tablets than we do just being together?
It is for this reason that I believe we should have “No-technology zones” in our homes and/or “No-technology times” in our day. We should delineate certain rooms, possibly the bedroom or kitchen, where all technology is banned. This will encourage you to engage with the people living with you and not be focused on your device.
It is a good idea to also identify technology-free times in your day. Maybe when you first get up in the morning. Is it really necessary to look at your phone as soon as your head is off the pillow? Maybe you would rather identify the evening hours as the time you will play in-person games with each other or just spend time together.
Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.Steve Jobs
We are all spending so much more time on our devices due to the fact that our jobs require more of that lately. Wouldn’t it be nice to know there are some sacred spaces and times in your life where you will be free from that? Being mindful of the ways you use your technology will help you maintain control over your devices instead of the other way around.