Today’s technology allows us to stay in touch with extended networks of people -; but it comes with a downside. The more time we spend surfing the Web, tweeting or updating Facebook, the less time we spend with those closest to us.
I often hear people complain they have a hard time connecting with their spouses, friends and kids. Yet, I’m sure many of them are well connected in Internet chat groups and have multiple social media accounts.
It is important to recognise whether technology is keeping you away from your family and friends. If you really have a problem regulating your use of technology, it helps to understand why you might turn to technology for fulfilment.
Do you feel like you are automatically turning on whatever electronic medium soothes you? This may be a sign that you have succumbed to what is known as the “iago trance” – a naturally occurring state of mind that lulls you into unconsciousness.
If technology is interfering with your real-world relationships, cut out screen time and do activities that keep you out of the trance. Here are some tips:
* Ask yourself whether technology is stopping you from meeting goals. At the end of the day, do you say, “I wish I had more time to work out, meditate, play with my kids or connect with my spouse”?
* Make a list of things that prevent you from being connected to your friends, family and loved ones, and pick one that you’re going to cut out.
* If a particular technology has you hooked, try cutting it out for a week to see what difference it makes in your life. Ask yourself whether you’re using it the way you originally intended, or is it keeping you in iago trance?
* Lay down boundaries for yourself and your family. For instance, try keeping your Facebook page very private and not just “friending” anyone.
* Find other “unplugged” ways to reduce stress, such as spending a few minutes outdoors in the fresh air or quietly in meditation or prayer.
I’d rather tell my partner good morning than tell the people on Facebook I just woke up. How about you?
Have a great day and please feel free to leave your comments. It is always great to hear from you.