These days, technology surrounds us and if you’re like millions of other “connected” Americans, you may find it difficult to remember the last time you weren’t online. Whether for work or play, recent studies reveal that teens and adults are spending more time with their technology than they do sleeping each night. While being connected is an integral part of our daily lives, it’s possible that you are getting too much of a good thing. Are you becoming too distracted by technology? Here are some indicators that you may be too distracted and some ways to cut back and become connected to the real world.
Walk down a busy sidewalk some day (without looking at your phone) and observe the people around you. One person may be talking on a bluetooth headset while scanning through her e-mails on her smartphone, one teen might be taking a selfie while standing in the middle of a busy intersection, and a college student might be texting while riding a bicycle. There may even be a group of people sitting together at an outdoor cafe’, yet no one is talking to one another. Sadly, this scene is a reality all across the globe and it’s bound to get worse unless people allow themselves to disconnect sometimes.
Now, think about your own life. Do you rely on your smartphone too much or can’t recall the last time you left home, or even the room, without it? If you can’t, it’s time to reassess your usage and consider some of the dangers of being too distracted by technology
Distractions on the Work:
Many people have the mentality that if they are multi-tasking at work, they are being more productive, but that belief has been disproven numerous times. While many workplaces restrict certain sites on work computers, such as social media, cellphones and the Internet still affect productivity. According to a study from CareerBuilder, the biggest distraction (and productivity killer) comes from employees using their cell phones and about 44% comes from employees using the Internet.
Distractions on the Road:
It’s often assumed that teens are the only drivers who are distracted by their technology while driving, but their parents can be to blame, too. Distracted driving is not only deadly, but it’s completely preventable.
Distractions at Home:
Whether you are in a long-term significant other or are married with kids, too much technology can be a relationship killer. It can also lessen the quality of time together and over time, people stop knowing how to have a meaningful face-to-face conversation.
It’s Not Too Late to Change
If your life has become one big technological distraction, you don’t need to become a Luddite, just make some small changes. When you’re at work, focus on one task at a time and if you are tempted by your cellphone, put it in your car and only look at it during lunch break.
To avoid dangerous distractions on the road, put your phone out of reach, turn it off or download a text blocking app. Remember, if you want others in your life to be safe and responsible drivers, you must lead by example.
Finally, to make your home life more tech free, keep your phone out of certain spaces such as the dining area or in the bedroom. If you are watching a movie with your loved ones, choose the movie rather than texting or posting on social media while you’re watching the movie. It may be easier said than done, but taking little breaks from technology distractions can make you happier and more productive throughout your day.