Getting addicted to technology and the internet is a very easy and slippery slope. Many of us can’t go an hour without having some form of stimulation through technology. While, the internet and the technology that goes along with it can be used as a wonderful tool for things like researching and learning there is also a dark side to all of it.
I am referring to the disconnectedness that lingers with prolonged stimulation through technology. Don’t just take my word for it. Take five minutes and go for a short walk. Notice what everyone is doing, and I bet you will be surprised by the number of people using their phones and such. A majority of them are probably going to be using their phones while they drive even. They are not only putting their own lives in danger, but the lives of other peoples as well. Multi-tasking can be a great skill to have, but there are definitely times people should avoid doing so, like driving. While it can be a usefully skill to have, there are studies out there that suggest that multi-tasking doesn’t really work and that the individual is not fully concentrating on either subject matter at hand. So the next time your either driving or writing that important paper, put down your phone or iPad and concentrate fully on the task at hand. You might surprise yourself by the things you might have missed.
I feel that for the majority of my time I use technology and the internet in a productive and mindful manor. However, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, when I think I’m starting to get bored I’ll pull up Netflix or something to stimulate my brain. According to the staff at NPR, they argue that when you are bored is when your creative and goal oriented self-come out. They believe that your brains uses that as a stimulus. I think that they are correct in their assumptions. I know whenever I get bored during a long lecture, I tend to start thinking about what needs to get done and how I’m going to do it. My brain is using the boredom to stimulate my goals for the rest of the day or the rest of the week. Try it sometime, let yourself get bored, and see if you set any goals or come up with something creative that you might not have otherwise.
I know when I am doing homework I need to be at my most attentive level. In doing so, I have to turn off all others distractions like my phone. I haven’t tried that Moment app, but it is definitely something to try. Especially if you find yourself surfing the internet for longs periods of time and you are curious to find out about your online behavior.
I don’t think that we should completely cut the cord to our devices or technology, but I believe we should all try to be more in the moment and not wrapped up in our own digital lives. One thing I try to do is if I am ever with anyone I never get on my phone, unless I get an important phone call. In doing so, I allow myself to be more in the present and absorb the current situation and not be more involved with my phone. Not saying that works for everyone, but try to find your own method to help you become more in the moment.
I want to stress that I don’t think that we all need to go out and ditch all of our technology. All I am saying is that we merely need to find an appropriate balance to it all and stick with whatever works for our individual needs.
Here are a few links to check out.