Technology has facilitated global connection now more than ever. It is obvious just how much reliance we have on technology. The internet has been integrated into nearly all aspects of modern life. As such, it is undeniable that a significant population of people has gotten stuck in the digital rut. People have become slaves to their devices and it is hard for them to take back control. Despite its numerous benefits, it is undeniable that overreliance on technology is harmful, to the individual and society at large, and we have to eliminate that reliance if we want to innovate further. Escaping the technological snare entails placing boundaries that work and make them a habit.
*Reducing the Reliance on Technology*
Keep away from idleness. It is often in our idle moments that we reach out to our tech-gadgets. Therefore, to avoid always finding yourself in idle moments, it is better to develop a list of other things to do as a substitute for scrolling the screens. Talking walks, writing with paper and pen, reading a book, exercising, and meditation are among the many advisable things to do during your free time (Roberts, 2014). In the morning trade your mobile activity by actually becoming mobile; instead of doing that morning digital check-in, do some meditation, read a magazine, or just brush your teeth. The idea is to create alternative options that work for you as an individual (Roberts, 2014). That way, you will be engaging yourself in another loved activity asides from the internet.
Alternatively, you could also use the same technology to help you stay off it. There are a number of apps that can be downloaded to measure one’s technology use. These apps inform one of how much time they have spent on their gadgets, warn if you have exceeded your set internet limit, power off your phone for a specific duration, and obstruct common disruptions like games (Arthur, 2009). One such app is Moment, which trails the amount of time is spent on the screens and which apps are the most used. As such, the idea is to have one acknowledge the reality of their existing technology use, so they can set a goal for cutting back. The apps can be a big help with that.
Technology has allowed for reachability no matter the place or time. With gadgets n the pockets, work-life barriers are broken and people are set to connect. However, taking time off is healthy for the mind. Therefore, how else to reduce your reliance on technology is to stop being available 24 hours a day. Rosen, author of iDisorder, it is better when one schedules time for tech use (Norman, 2015). At some point, everyone who owns a phone has apologized for either not responding o a message early enough or missing a call. Stop being sorry and embrace the freedom of replying when you can and desire. You do not need to ignore your friends and family by taking too long to respond, but you do need to have them know that you reply at your specified time (Arthur, 2009). Withdrawing from such social obligations will allow you to feel less obligated to frequently check your device for messages or calls.
Self-consciousness is the answer to ending addictions. Understanding how your mind operates makes you aware of your impulse and enables you to be in command of your behavior. Rosen explains that the urge to always record things for future reference is not exactly how to experience life (Norman, 2015). Psychotherapist Nancy Colier also adds that instead of immediately using, we ought to take a step back and ponder on how it would feel if we did not actually use the phone. She encourages people to reflect on what is really important to them and put in efforts to stay off tech-gadgets whenever they are confronted with that particular thing (Norman, 2015). For instance, if the family is important to you, aim at powering off your gadgets whenever you are together.
Lastly, turn off those notifications. Your gadget’s notification sound is said to trigger your dopamine receptors, prompting you to carry on with the behavior of leaving it on since it offers an unknown reward; a message. Also, those notifications are unnecessary interferences that can draw your attention from something important, and it can be quite a challenge getting back your concentration (Alter, 2017). Therefore, turning off your phone’s notifications will reduce the need to constantly check for messages, and also keep you concentrated on one thing for as long as you want.
There is never one side to anything; there is always the good and the bad. While disputing the benefits of technology is a non-issue, we cannot ignore its negative consequences as well. However, disregarding technology altogether would be discarding society’s advancements. It is, therefore, every individual’s responsibility to strike a balance between resistance and indulgence. Although our tech-gadgets are ingeniously designed to attract our attention, we have the power to decide how much time we spend on them.
Alter, A. (2017). *Irresistible: The rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked*. Penguin.
Arthur, W. B. (2009). *The nature of technology: What it is and how it evolves*. Simon and Schuster.
Norman, V. T. (2015). iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us. *Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith*, *67*(2), 146-148.
Roberts, J., Yaya, L., & Manolis, C. (2014). The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students. *Journal of behavioral addictions*, *3*(4), 254-265.
How to Reduce Reliance on Technology