Technology has simplified and automated our lives in more ways than one. With a touch of a button, for example, you can push out content to thousands, if not millions depending on your influence and reach.
Sadly, the flip side is that more and more people are becoming digital zombies – a term used to describe excessive usage of digital technology and/or social media to a point that the individual becomes fixated only in that faux reality.
A number of reports suggest that excessive use of technology is capable of causing health issues such as depression, negative mood swings, increased impulsiveness, eye problems and many more. Such reports basically lay credence to the saying that too much of everything is bad.
Digital addiction is not restricted to users in developed countries alone but cuts across many others. One basic reality we should all have at the back of our minds is that, it is very easy to become addicted to technology without realising it; not with all the number of tech devices at our disposal right now.
It is a common sight today to find people engaging in important activities such as driving, yet they fiddle with their phones at the same time disregarding all the important safety notices against such a practice.
I have read reports of people who died in road accidents or fell over a bridge and died because they got consumed with whatever they were doing on their devices.
Stories of young adults crushed to death by trains in different parts of the world have been told and why you may ask? In most cases, these youths had their head phones on, forgetting every other thing within their vicinity and walked to their deaths, not hearing the blazing horn of on-coming trains.
This is a horrid example of what addiction can do to you. This and many other examples like another person falling off a bridge under similar circumstances are more than enough reasons to start raising awareness on this type of addiction with a view to nipping it in the bud, especially among our youths.
A lot of other examples of digital addition abound. With technology, for instance, entertainment, especially, online, is now two for a penny. Some people are being entertained to the detriment of work. This leads to low productivity. This is the exact opposite of what technology is supposed to achieve for us.
The question now is; what can we do to reduce digital addiction to the barest minimum?
One of the ways to reduce digital addiction is to fix your daily schedule and work strictly to follow this through on daily basis. Do not stay too many hours on your gadgets at a stretch. Design your schedule to involve a variety of different activities.
You should also strike a balance between your indoor and outdoor activities. Set time limits for your use of any tech gadget or device and adhere strictly to the time limits. These will help you to stay away from regular usage of technology.
You might, sometimes, need to take a break from your devices for a while. This will keep your mind fresher and give your brain a much-needed breather.
Most of these strategies are combined and are called digital detox, a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. It is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interactions in the physical world.
For many tech enthusiasts who work long hours on their devices, it might be wise of you to take advantage of hiring a professional virtual assistant to handle some of your online work for you. By doing this, you may be able to free yourself of about 40 per cent of your online work.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to make yourself scarce and not be available 24/7. Put off your phone for a couple of hours a day so you do not receive any calls during that period. Take a break.
Engage in other aspects of life such as working out, giving some more quality time to your family, gardening or going through your old stuff. You can get yourself busy with new ‘Do It Yourself’ projects every day at those periods when you used to spend most of your time on social media.
Other means of avoiding addiction is to attempt saying “No” to most alerts, and notifications on your devices. Hopefully, these little steps, if adhered to will reduce your addiction to technology drastically as they have already been used and proven to be helpful.
It is also sometimes good to try and crack some issues with our brains instead of always running to search engines for help. Give your brain some exercises to do too.
According to Goodwill Community Foundation, Internet addiction is becoming a more significant problem. Internet use can be a good thing but if it becomes an addiction it can affect a person’s offline life.
Therefore, children should be discouraged at an early age from being excessively hooked to games and the likes. Strategies in this regards include setting curfews of no screen time during bedtime and setting limits on how much time your children will be allowed to use tech gadgets.
Digital addiction is a reality we must deal with across our schools, offices and public places. We must be in full control of technology and not the other way round. Sadly, a number of people are already addicts to one form of technology or the other and might be living in denial. If you are, then seek help.
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