Stress and technology addiction go hand in hand.
Just think about it.
How many times do you check your email? How much of your day is spent gaming? How many times do you check facebook, twitter, tumblr, LinkedIn, Google +, pinterest, Instagram?
More importantly, how much total time do you spend on techno activities per day?
How do these pursuits leave you feeling?
Scientists from the University of Innsbrook in Austria found that eliminating social media from your life may increase a feeling of well-being because, says James Plafke, “you aren’t constantly comparing someone’s highlights to your lowlights.”
You don’t think you spend time ‘comparing and competing,’ do you?
Isn’t that the whole ‘fun?’ And the horror?
How Addicted Are You?
Take a minute. Calculate the amount of time you spend ‘tuning in.’
Objects of your calculations should include use of your cell phone, landline, computer, television, radio, all techno gadgets and the many activities therein….emailing, texting, tweeting, checking websites, gaming, returning calls, listening to the news.
Be prepared to be surprised, maybe shocked. You might fall off your computer chair, drop your smartphone, lose your jaw when you realize that what remains is about one minute in your day to enjoy non technological pursuits, like reading a book, smelling a flower, patting a dog, staring at your four walls. Enjoying a bit of silence.
Or even paying a bill, without distraction.
Are you getting anything meaningful done anymore? What does ‘downtime’ mean? Sitting on a comfy, cozy chair, texting?
We’re so addicted to being tuned in, turned on, stimulated, challenged, wowed, charged up, grossed out, scared, thrilled, terrified and amazed.
It’s like being at an amusement park, on high scary rides, the adrenaline rush, higher and higher.
It’s all just so stimulating and ‘fun,’ isn’t it?
On the surface, yes.
But in the case of techno addiction (because that’s what it is for most of us, in that it is taking up most of are time, correct?) the toll on mental health seems to grow bigger and bigger.
Our social lives, a key to health, are in free fall. Add to that, we’re not paying bills on time. We’re spending beyond our means, we’re clicking away like maniacs to get news of the world but nothing is getting solved, not really, our paperwork is packed up to the ceiling because paperwork, even in this digitized computerized age, seems to have grown in volume.
How I Cope
I’ve made a pledge to myself to fight for the right to retain a normal life.
Fight for the right to a normal life? How dramatic.
Not really. A staunch commitment to a normal, simple balanced life, in lieu of technology right in our faces, must be made these days. Otherwise, it will not happen.
I have to show myself great willpower to maintain ‘balance’ between my lust for technology (combined with utter disdain, when it fails me) and my need for a centred, healthy existence.
It’s as hard as walking by that case full of gourmet ice cream when hormonal havoc is at its peak.
The stress bubble of all stress bubbles: navigating a world that’s moving at a pace humans can’t keep up with, that humans want to techno-participate in fully, that one 24 hour day does not easily accommodate.
What to do?
In my next post, I’ll offer some specific techno-related stress poppers that work for me.