Technology addiction

Don’t lie. Your connection to your smartphone, laptop, MP3 player, tablet, or perhaps all of the above borders on obsessive. Of course, your attachment is somewhat normal right? How can it not be?  Aren’t we all like that? You need all of these devices to stay connected to your family, friends, your job. Maybe you even use your laptop, MP3 player or tablet for your hobbies.

To some extent, you need all of this technology. The world is becoming more advanced every day. We have cars that start themselves and don’t run on gas, children use iPads to learn in school, there is even a program on your phone to lock your house! How do you know when your fondness for your gadgets is pushing the limits? Maybe you plug your phone up to the charger and tuck it into bed with you. Perhaps you feel a bit of separation anxiety when you forget one at home.

We’re sharing some warning signs and adjustments you can make to help combat that case of technology addiction, you know, if that’s you of course.

Warning Signs

  • Spending increased amounts of time on your gadgets or on the internet
  • Neglecting your family or friends to use your devices and the internet
  • Feeling compelled to respond to phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. regardless of the time of day or what else you’re doing
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed of your behavior
  • Changes in your habits or disruption to your regular activities
  • Trying to make changes to your behavior but being unsuccessful
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How to Help Yourself

  • Set some limits. If you are starting to feel like your tech usage is getting out of control, give yourself some boundaries. You may want to designate certain times where you will be without your devices. For example, maybe you will decide not to respond to work related messages after 8pm or 9pm and maybe personal messages after 10pm. Give yourself some time to breathe and enjoy real life. Consider the Google Chrome extension Stay Focused to help keep you off of time-sucking sites.
  • Hold yourself accountable. There is no need to feel ashamed. Many of us spend way more time than we should attached to our devices. Give yourself some incentive for sticking to your set limits. If you need to, tell a friend that you trust what you are aiming to do and ask them to hold you accountable if they see you breaking the rules.
  • Leave your toys alone. Immerse yourself in activities that you like and leave your toys behind. The next time you go for a run, soak up some nature. If you are sitting on the couch at home watching TV, leave your phone in the bedroom. You do not have to take your smartphone everywhere. It will survive until you come back, we promise.
  • Get professional help. Most often when we think of addiction we think of drugs or alcohol and neglect addictions that do not necessarily share that spotlight as much like technology addiction, video game addiction, gambling addiction, etc. The truth is, addiction is serious, no matter what your drug of choice happens to be, smartphones included. If you notice yourself experiencing many of the warning signs or just feel overly concerned about your usage, it may be time to seek help. To find out more about internet, phone and other technology related addictions, look here.
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Do you have tips for staying away from technology? Have you ever taken a tech-free weekend? Share you tips for success with us!