Four Questions All Technology Users Need To Ask

Feb 3 2014, 11:18am CST | by

Four Questions All Technology Users Need To Ask


/>

Today I left my iPhone at home. It’s 9p.m. and I am still alive to write about it.

I got the idea last night while sitting outside at a mall, talking to my wife and enjoying the night air while our 5-year-old slurped ice cream. I glanced over at some pre-teens huddled around each other. No one was speaking; everyone had their heads down peering at mobile devices.

The scene reminded me of the two dads at my daughter’s fifth birthday party who were standing about two feet apart on their iPhones. They weren’t chatting and they were missing the joy of watching their children laugh and play.

Then I had to face hard facts about myself. For the past 10 years I had embraced my old BlackBerry (RIP) and my iPhone like family members. They slept next to me on my night table and woke me in the morning. They caught me up with the world as I got ready for work and went to lunch with me when I took a break. They were invaluable companions, keeping me connected to my emails and texts seven days a week, 365 days a year — but at what cost? Even when I was sitting face to face with my wife, family, friends, or co-workers, I felt compelled to check my partner’s little screen periodically. These devices were controlling my life. And I’m not alone in this. Techno-dependence is widespread.

I know — world-changing technologies have always met resistance, often being accused of destroying humanity. I don’t really expect anyone to throw away their iPhone after reading this article. But, as a technology user, you need to ask yourself four questions to ensure you are truly connected to the world around you, most productive, sincerely happy, and focused on your wellbeing.

1. Are You Disconnected?

Mobile devices provide a remarkable connection to the world, they bring us information that has never before been possible. They are also disconnecting us from live human interaction and the environment around us.

FaceTime, Skype, and the amusing remote controlled, mobile teleconferencing system that allows your head to walk around your office on an iPad on wheels while you work from home are notable innovations, but are void of the human energy in live interactions. If you have ever seen a live theatre production and then watched it on a screen later, you can see that something’s missing.

2. Are You Less Productive?

Did you know that checking your email first thing in the morning makes you less productive during the rest of your day? The messages waiting for you are usually a “to do” list from others. But despite the adverse impact on their day, studies show that most people still check their email shortly after they wake up.

If you are like me, you also use your mobile device as an alarm clock, a habit which instantly sets me up for a less productive day. The alarm goes off, the email pops up and suddenly I’m chasing other peoples’ demands. It got so bad that I recently switched to a standard alarm clock and only check my email during a blocked time at the end of my day. Guess what? I’m writing 50 percent more each day and have more personal time than ever before.

The key is dedicated block time and letting colleagues, friends, and family know your schedule. By doing this, you are training others around your life as opposed to the other way around.

If your business and job demands a quicker email response time, you can add a late morning email session too. But I highly recommend that you don’t add more than two sessions a day totaling more than two hours — unless your job is answering emails. But be careful: many people think their job is answering emails when it’s actually not.

3. Are Your Relationships Suffering?

What do you do in bed with your significant other? OK. It’s too personal a question, unless you are like the half of U.S. office workers polled who reported emailing. With that kind of bedtime routine, it’s not surprising that 6 percent of those asked said their relationships had suffered from excessive use of the Internet.

4. Are You Damaging Your Body?

Does your neck hurt from looking down at your mobile device hours everyday? Do your hands tingle and cramp from using it or your computer? Are your eyes tired? Do emails, texts, and calls disrupt your workouts, your meals, personal time, and sleep? You only have to look around you to see the impact mobile devices and computers are having on our health — people wrenching their necks, shaking their hands out, rubbing their eyes.

In fact, 62 percent of those surveyed reported that they routinely end their day with work-related neck pain, 44 percent reported stressed out eyes, 38 percent complained of hurting hands, and 34 percent reported difficulty in sleeping.

In most cases, these issues can be reduced or alleviated by taking short hourly breaks to stretch or be active and ensuring your body is properly positioned for the work you are doing.

Technology is an amazing thing, but remember, just like everything in life — moderation, self-control, and good practices are key.

This article was originally published on Huffington Post.

Source: Forbes Apple

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Fitbit Not Expected To Work With Healthkit
Fitbit Not Expected To Work With Healthkit
Apple’s new health tracking App won’t connect to Fitbit devices
 
 
Retailers Dropping NFC Readers To Stop Apple Pay
Retailers Dropping NFC Readers To Stop Apple Pay
Merchants are removing support for Apple Pay
 
 
AT&amp;T Showing Lack Of Vision With New SIM Cards
AT&T Showing Lack Of Vision With New SIM Cards
The company has busted the Apple SIM cards meant for travelers
 
 
The Stores of CVS and Rite Aid Stop Supporting Apple Pay
The Stores of CVS and Rite Aid Stop Supporting Apple Pay
CVS and Rite Aid are not accepting the service of Apple Pay from the last weekend
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

US unmanned spacecraft explodes shortly after launch
Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) An unmanned spaceship operated by a private US firm exploded just minutes after its launch Tuesday, media reported. The rocket blew up over the launch complex at Wallops Island, Virginia,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman split
A$AP Rocky and Chanel Iman have reportedly ended their engagement. The 26-year-old rapper, who secretly proposed to the Victoria's Secret model in April after less than a year of dating, recently split from the 23-year-...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Australian troops conduct G20 security training
Sydney, Oct 29 (IANS) Australian special forces troops have conducted G20 training exercises involving a mock hostage recovery operation in Brisbane Tuesday. Australian Defence Force spokesman for the G20, Maj. Gen....
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Nick Jonas angry over band split?
Los Angeles, Oct 29 (IANS) Pop star Nick Jonas is reportedly angry with his siblings over the breakup of their band - The Jonas Brothers. The trio disbanded in October last year after pulling out of a North American...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Chinese peacekeepers to help build Ebola quarantine center
United Nation, Oct. Oct 29 (IANS) The Chinese contingent of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will help build an Ebola Quarantine and Control Center in the capital city of Monrovia, a UN spokesperson said here Tuesday...
Read more on Business Balla
 
IS captures three gas wells in Syria
Damascus, Oct 29 (IANS) The Islamic State(IS) militants Tuesday captured three gas wells in Syria's central province of Homs, media reported. The IS captured the gas wells east of Palmyra in Homs after intense clashes...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Martin's split wasn't dramatic
Jennifer Lawrence's split from Chris Martin reportedly ''wasn't dramatic.'' The 'Hunger Games' actress quietly decided to end her relationship with the Coldplay frontman a few weeks ago after four months of dating...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eddie Redmayne just wants to pay his mortgage
Eddie Redmayne says he is just trying to pay his mortgage. The 'Les Miserables' actor, who is set to marry antiques dealer Hannah Bagshawe in December, claims he doesn't consider himself ''a movie star'' and doesn't...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jane Lynch finalizes divorce
Jane Lynch's ex-wife Dr. Lara Embry received millions in their divorce. The 'Glee' star, whose split from clinical psychologist was finalized on Monday (10.27.14), following their separation in February 2012, reportedly...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
David McIntosh keen to marry Kelly Brook
London, Oct 29 (IANS) Following their recent reconciliation, actor David McIntosh says he wants to marry his on-off girlfriend Kelly Brook. The 28-year-old star is eager to wed the model in Mykonos, Greece, reports...
Read more on Celebrity Balla