Healthy Use of Technology in the Information Age

April 1, 2021
Photo by Camilo Jimenez on Unsplash

What’s on Our Minds

Technology’s influence in our lives has never been as apparent as it has been in the past year–as many of our business operations, personal connections, education and our hobbies went virtual.  While this has produced some pretty hilarious laughs, driven innovation/advancement in some sectors, and given us some new everyday social media stars to root for—as our screen time ramped up, it begs the question:

 

How can I ensure my relationship with technology is a healthy one?

 

Why It Matters

Precovid estimates from 2019 indicate that daily average internet use is 6 hours 42 minutes, with 25% of that time engaging in social media sites. We follow social media influencers and “friends” who seem to be living the life we can only dream of. Phubbing (that is, phone + snubbing, ignoring someone in favor of our mobile device) has become so commonplace, we think of ourselves as the bad guy when expecting someone to put down their phone to look directly at us while talking. There is literally no limit to the amount of entertainment and information we can consume right now. But should we?

 

Something to Think About

We have talked about how technology can interfere with relationships when it distracts us, robbing our focus from the people we lead and the people we love.  If you invested 10 minutes to do an audit on your digital habits, you should have some more situational awareness on how much time you spend in the digital world.  Author Catherine Price suggests we ask ourselves, “What behaviors or habits on your phone would you like to change?” and then make efforts to change them (she gives recommendations as to how to do so).

One article tells us how to know when we’re phubbing (phone out at dinner, “just in case”?), ways to stop doing so (create “no-phone zones”), and how to confront phubbing offenders. Another specifies the basic rules of netiquette that prioritize your relationships and good reminders to help keep social media posting snafus at bay.

As we come to grips with what healthy technology use will look like in the coming years, it will be important for all of us to take a balanced approach to promote our own healthy use of technology. While in some cases we need to be online more, we have to consider what impact technology use in our free time is doing to our face-to-face interactions, engagement in our home responsibilities, and our interests.

While a lot of this may seem like a bad news story, it really isn’t.  Rather, the intent of this entire week is to inspire and empower you to be more aware of your relationship with tech—and to know that it’s within your reach to make some small changes that can have a significant positive impact in your life!

 

Photo by Camilo Jimenez on Unsplash