Burton Kelso, Tech Expert
How to Conquer Technology Fatigue
Updated: Oct 2, 2022
In an effort to help my company Integral stay relevant and top of mind as well as helping people solve technical issues with their devices, I spend a lot of time on tech gadgets. It seems I always have some sort of device in my hand and in front of my face as I post on social media or send out emails. When I work out, there's my Apple watch alerting me to how many miles I've walked or rode my bike. Then there are the Airpods that I use to relax as I listen to music to calm the chaos. Even my national and international TV interviews require that I'm on Zoom calls. I know you can relate to me when sometimes you feel enough is enough and you just want to take a break from all of the tech devices in your life. Even if you can't relate, there are many reasons why you should detox every now and then. Check out why you should back away from tech .... at least for a little bit.
Even though you may think technology may make you more productive, it can make you less productive as the stress and the damage to your attention span can negatively impact all aspects of your life. Are you or your family experiencing the following: Headaches, backaches, eye strain, neck pain, stiff shoulder, joint pains, mental fatigue, depression, nightmares, panic, suffering insomnia, loss of temper, irritability, and frustration? It's a good possibility technology is to blame. When it comes to screen time, here are the recommended time limits. For Kids under the age of 2, no screen time at all. For kids 2 to 4 years old, over 1 hour of screen time per day. For Children 5-18 years old, parents should try to set limit their screen time to two hours or less per day. For adults, it's a little bit different. It's not about the screen time, it's about what you're doing on your devices. Spend three to four hours daily without any screens. Take a break every 20 minutes for eye health. Stop using screens at least an hour before bedtime for better sleep.
If you're overwhelmed with the amount of screen time you and your family are facing, check out these practices I use when I am feeling tech stress:
Turn off alerts on your smartphone. When your smartphone and other devices constantly buzz or ding, you're tempted to look at them because of FOMO or fear of missing out. App manufacturers design these to keep up with what's going on within the app. Items on sale, that Amazon order status, what friend has messaged you who has responded to your social media posts. These alerts will keep you on your devices all day and all night. Change the settings on your phone to have a minimum or no alerts pop up on your phone. It will keep you from being tempted to always look at your devices.
Don't scroll through your phone or computer when you're bored. There is so much entertainment that our devices provide, it's hard to not to turn to them when we get bored. Just think about the number of hours you spend scrolling through Wikipedia or YouTube when you're looking to occupy your mind. Not sure what your interest are, but find activities that don't require technology. Mine is getting out of the house to walk or ride my bike. Sometimes I will just go for a drive.
Take breaks every hour or two .... even for a whole day. Setting down that device is a good thing as it allows your mind and body to relax. No blue light to ruin your eyes. No pain from hunching over your devices to keep you up to date with alerts. Taking a break from technology will train your brain to look for alternatives for entertainment rather than using your smartphone or other tech devices for entertainment.
No devices when gathering for meals ... at home and out. When dining in or out with friends, it's important to keep your focus on them rather than being distracted by your smart devices. Life is short and it's important to enjoy all of your experiences in real life. You want to make sure we're spending that time together and have any human interaction,
Quit using multiple devices at the same time. My boys make the habit of playing on their laptops, but also watching videos on their phones. My boys think they are being more productive and if you do this it doesn't help your productivity. Ag
Set time limits for nonwork and noneducational screen time. One of the challenges you probably face is your devices are used for work and for play. When you rely on your devices for work and entertainment you wind up spending more time on your devices. There's nothing wrong with working and playing on your devices, but make sure you set time limits for each
No screens at bedtime. You probably don't remember the days when TV broadcasts ended every night. If you have a SmartTV in your or your kids' bedroom, you might want to consider removing it. With streaming services, it can be difficult to fall asleep as episodes of your favorite show get better and better. Same thing with staring at your smartphones. Those screens emit blue light which can mess with your sleep patterns.
Use apps to track and limit time. If you don't have self-control, consider using an app to control your technology usage. Apple device owners are fortunate to have access to 'Screen Time'. No need to download an additional app as this built-in feature will allow you to keep track of what you and your family have been doing on their devices. You can set parental control and app limits for your kids. If you connect your Apple devices to your iCloud account, you can see your device usage across all of your devices. If you're an Android user, you have to get an app, and one of the best is AppDetox. This app will help you to curb your mobile app usage, and take a digital detox. You can set your own rules for your apps to detox from some heavy usage.
I hope you can use these tips to help curb your technology usage. When you begin to think of your tech devices as more of a tool it helps you develop a mindset of only using technology when you need it, rather than always relying on your gadgets for everything. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!
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