So. Even the Dalai Lama is on Twitter.
This statement really resonated with me, and I retweeted it and have been letting it marinate in my mind over the last few days. I believe that I am a slave to my smartphone and my iPad…I am constantly checking my emails, messages, Facebook, and now Twitter and this blog have been added to the mix…oh, and let us not forget my new friend Feedly… of course there is also Skype, Line (I use this to keep in touch with my friends in Japan, everyone uses Line there!), Pinterest (If you like crochet and beer, and you have no life, then you should totally follow me…), Whatsapp, and Kik (which I recently deleted – does anyone even use this?!). As an online student I cannot survive without my laptop and iPad, and of course my internet connection – when that fails my whole world basically comes to a screeching halt….
Toby Daniels wrote that, for better or for worse, we are all slaves to technology – it steals our time, it is unrelentingly demanding, and more often than not breaks our hearts, but we cannot live without it…but it does not have to be this way.
In this article by Ohad Frankfurt on Lifehacker he discusses five ways that we can break away from our technology addiction:
- Put your phone face down – I actually do this, and I will take it one step further for people I really like and even TURN OFF the sound and vibration, and leave it in my bag.
- Go back to sleep – well, as I put my phone and iPad on “sleep mode” I don’t get any annoying phone calls or notifications about emails at 2am to wake me up, but I have been known to check my phone at that ungawdly hour when I can’t sleep. Toby says to put the bloody thing down and just go back to sleep – even better, don’t pick it up.
- Walk everywhere – Yeah, I do a lot of walking, and I never listen to music when I walk, I prefer to listen to the wind, birds, trees, and say hello to the people I pass…but that does not keep me off Instagram, that need to let people know that I am walking along the Strand and the view is beautiful is just too strong…Occasionally I can get through a 5-6km walk without using Instagram and I always feel so powerful…
- Meditate – Actually, there is an app for that…I use Relax Melodies and have downloaded Headspace and GPS for the Soul…I am also a huge fan of Meditation Oasis, and subscribe to their podcasts.
- Turn off push notifications (well, as many as you can) – Yup, I have done this too. With Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, email, Line, Whatsapp, Skype, Feedly and whatever other accounts I would simply lose my mind if I had to action all the notifications from all these things.
Technology most definitely has its advantages, though, especially in the way that it has brought people together, and this video about two girls who became best friends on Skype without ever having met in person is truly beautiful. It is well worth the view. Facebook has also brought me back in touch with many long lost friends, and enables me to keep up to date with my friends around the globe, and I love that. I am also enjoying Twitter – I cannot believe it either – and there are some fascinating and informative people out there.
The trick is to find a balance, and make technology work for you, not the other way around, and this is something I hope to pass on to my students.
How do you stop technology taking over your life? What are your strategies and secrets?