Beam me up Scotty. The reason why it’s called Science Fiction is because of the distorted reality of such advanced technology, like a small handheld device that you carry in your pocket, and it works as a telephone wherever you are on the planet. Imagine that.
Unless you’ve been in a coma since 1990 and have suddenly awoken, it’s not news that electronic technology has overtaken our lives, and growing at warp speed levels, which is now starting to threaten and cause harm to our overall quality of life.
There’s evidence that it may be too late, that significant damage has already been made. The amount of time that we now spend when relating to these devices has grown exponentially, this just in the past few years alone.
This growth at the expense of our well being, attacking all of our essential senses when it comes to better health, growing quality relationships, and a deeper level of mindfulness.
We Just Have So Much Time
The amount of time and energy that we had in 1980 is still the same today, before this entrapment of technology overtook us. So the time that we spend on technology right now means less time for other activities, so something has to give.
This was known as “quality” time. What most equate this to is when valuable time was spent on the intentions of having quality experiences, which promoted personal growth, and meaningful interpersonal connections resulting in a sense of worth.
Our Time Has Been Hijacked
The theory is, that this quality time that has been lost, can be reclaimed back by using our various electronic devices, as they’re supposed to free up our time.
The indisputable fact is the difference between relating to someone on the Internet, and communicating with them face to face, live in person, which is becoming a rare occurrence.
This isn’t saying that live interactions are the only method of communication which has any substance. There’s also no question that there’s numerous advantages when it comes to electronic communication, mainly it saves us time and money.
When it comes to the need to exchange information electronically, doing so has become infinitely quicker, more efficient and affordable, than needing to drive across town or fly across the country, to have an in-person meeting.
But what technology has provided is perhaps too much of a good thing, too much convenience and efficiency.
We now live in a world that requires every worker on all levels, who are now expected to be available and responsive to this technology, 24/7. Getting away seems almost impossible to do.
Connected 24hours A Day
Every worker, especially professionals, are now spending more time connected electronically during their supposedly off hours, tending to communicating with their customers, colleagues, and managers,
This ease of communication has now been taken for granted, as all types of intrusions are now considered a normal and necessary part of work.
In the effort to rationalize this encroachment of increased work along with the invasion on our personal lives, we agree to do so because it supposedly provides us with more flexibility.
What research shows however, is that for those workers who don’t use their smartphones during work, still attend to their personal tasks with the same frequency as those who uses their devices.
What it appears is that employers are now exploiting, stealing time from their employees, while the employees are allowing them to do so. Absolutely everyone, at every level including executives, aren’t spared.
So what’s required is that all workplaces begin instituting changes in it’s policies, freeing their workers and themselves from the tyranny of enslavement that is technology, which has become an epidemic in our culture.
Admit You’re Overwhelmed
Be honest with yourself, this regarding how much technology is strangling you, that electronic devices now runs your life and work, diminishing the quality of your life experiences.
If you don’t think that it’s ruling and ruining your life, then feel blessed. If you do, then admit it and acknowledge that you need to cut back, and know what the advantages are once you do.
Set Your Boundaries
What you might assume is that your manager will judge you negatively or treat you differently, or that your job might be in jeopardy, if you establish boundaries, that you demand you need more time for yourself.
This could be no digital communication before 8AM and after 5PM, during weekends, statuary holidays, etc. Once you take these requests to those in authority, and discuss where the parameters lie, then you might be able to negotiate an agreement which separates your work and leisure time.
Set Rules And Adhere To Them
Set guidelines such as specific times and places, this especially in your personal environment such as your home.
Most find the use of technology being disruptive at certain times, locations, or events, such as during meals, family gatherings, or important meetings or conversations.
Establish a device free time or zone. There will most likely be resistance placing such policies, but for the sake of respect and privacy for yourself, your family and others, insist on these measures.
Set Times When You’re Unavailable
Announce by telling everyone when you’re unavailable. Inform those you work with, who you share your life with, that you won’t always be available to reply to their phone calls, emails, or text, and be firm about it.
Tell them your intentions, that it’s a personal policy of yours, and that they shouldn’t take it personally, and that everyone else abides by the same policy as well.
Remind them this is advantageous for everyone, that you’ll no longer expect them to respond during certain times either, this unless it’s a strict emergency.