Amid Growing Technology Addiction, Let’s Rediscover Life Offline

Amid Growing Technology Addiction, Let’s Rediscover Life Offline

As I embark on an annual trek to the Nevada dessert where I’ll be completely off the grid for 10 days for both personal and professional development, I’m looking forward to being dragged back into the real world. Our addiction to technology is growing and damaging in a number of ways. The level of social media on a given day, for example, is linked to a significant correlated increase in memory failure the next day. The mere presence of a smartphone, even when it’s turned off, drains one’s attention. Three months after starting to use a smartphone, users experience a decrease in arithmetic scores.

The bottom line is that too much screen time makes us more neurotic, isolated, anxious, depressed, sedentary, narcissistic and lonely, and it also can lead to cognitive dissonance. I remember back in the ‘90s I would have friends showing up at my door to go out and do things. That doesn’t happen anymore. The default setting is now virtual playdates on gaming consoles, VR headsets and smartphone apps. Being glued to our gadgets reinforces an addictive loop, especially for those of us who weren’t conditioned that way. But we take deliberate, conscious actions to limit our screen time. Just put your phone down or turn it off.

Go and experience friends and family! Also be sure to limit your time on social media or be more constructive about it. For example, I signed off of Instagram six years ago and rarely update my Facebook posts. However, I’m active on LinkedIn to interact with people who may be interested in learning more about my businesses and coaching. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to make striking a better balance in your life a top priority.

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