When you wake up, what’s the first thing you do? You probably reach for your phone to check messages or social media. According to Forbes, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users and over 4.5 billion active internet users globally. This means that a good portion of the world’s young and adult population is online. From communication to technology, people now rely on technology for so many aspects of their lives. Tech has changed how people entertain themselves, including virtual reality and online slots.
However, overindulgence in technology can lead to various problems: depression, decreased attention span, disrupted sleep patterns, feelings of anxiety and depression, and social isolation. It’s imperative to achieve a balanced lifestyle. How can people balance technology, including the desire for connected entertainment, with mindful use of technology? Here are some valuable strategies for trying to find a balance.
As the rapid pace of technological advancement continues to reshape the world, even influencing the realm of casino gaming through innovations like augmented and virtual reality, it becomes crucial to establish boundaries to balance lifestyles with technology. So how do you do this?
Tech-Free Zones at Home
Establish tech-free zones in your home, for example, the bedroom and the dining room. In this way, your meals and your sleep should be uninterrupted. You can enjoy face-to-face interaction and relaxation in these tech-free areas. Also, you’ll be avoiding artificial light, which is very disruptive as it takes people out of their natural circadian rhythm before bed.
Tech-Free Rules in the Workplace
Implement tech-free rules in the workplace (which can be personal or company-wide,) such as turning off phones once a meeting has started. Personal tech rules could include the hours you’ll be available online for work and how colleagues can contact you should an emergency arise. You could also ban yourself from double-screening, that is, using a computer and a smartphone simultaneously. Multitasking is bad for productivity and attention, and double-screening is definitely not mindful use of technology.
To achieve a balanced lifestyle, it’s vital to set your priorities, including career aspirations, relationships, health, and hobbies. Ideally, these priorities are set over different timeframes, from short-term, around a week to a month, to long-term, which would be a year or more. Use technology strategically to support these priorities. So, for example, manage your schedule via technology or learn new skills online. However, ensure that certain of your priorities do not involve technology to maintain balance.
Mindful Use of Technology
You know how it goes — you start by looking at a YouTube video, and before you know it, you’re reading about how many moons Mars has. Three hours have passed, and you’re in a spiderweb you can’t escape. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through websites or social media, try to practice conscious technology use. Here are some mindfulness tips for aligning your lifestyle with technology:
- Before reaching for your device, ask yourself if other activities would better help you reach your goals and priorities.
- Take short breaks throughout the day to assess your tech usage. You could even create a spreadsheet to better track how you’re spending your time.
- Don’t become dependent on external validation like “likes” or “comments.” Also, try not to compare yourself to others online.
- Meditation might be helpful if you’re finding it difficult to stop checking your phone. There are different types of meditation, such as yoga or guided meditation, but they all include breathing and postural elements that help you focus on the present and relax your mind.
Be Careful With Time-Wasting Tech
Although notifications are very convenient, they do take you out of the moment. Turn off low-value notifications. Review all your apps to ensure notifications haven’t been automatically enabled.
In addition, streamline your email, which frequently takes up a lot of time and can lead to tech burnout, by automating the priority status of emails. Low-priority emails can be directed into separate mailboxes so they don’t distract you when working. Spam filters also guard against pointless and unnecessary emails.
Don’t Forget a Digital Detox
A digital detox is a period of time spent away from electronic devices, whether phones or other kinds of screens. During such a detox, people generally avoid these kinds of activities:
- Checking mail and text messages.
- Playing games.
- Social media.
- Watching TV programs or the news.
The benefits include better focus, less stress, more control over your time, and improved social interactions.
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