In a not too distant past, revolutionary innovators dreamed of a computer in every home.
Today we all have one in our pocket and our lives are indistinguishably connected to – and lived through – infinitely faster and more powerful, palm-sized versions of those computers.
These technological advances have significantly improved many aspects of our lives.
But there is a shadow to this exponential rate of advancement. Our biology does not, and cannot adapt as quickly as technology has progressed.
In many ways, our biology is at odds with the way we’re currently living.
Our brains are struggling to deal with the changes.
We’re struggling to deal with the volume of incoming sensory input and the level of connectedness in our new reality. It’s why we see our attention spans shrinking, the rise of digital detox vacations, and an increasing number of our friends (or ourselves) taking social media breaks.
Today, I’m sharing some ideas to reassess, and hopefully, improve our relationship with connectivity and the computers in our pockets through some personal experiments and some tips from the Center for Human Technology, whose mission statement is to “reverse human downgrading by inspiring a new race to the top and realigning technology with humanity.”
Technology and connectivity is only going to become more a part of the human experience. We’d be wise to find healthy ways to interact with it to ensure it enhances our experience rather than allow it to reduce our happiness, change our brain, shorten attention spans and decrease our ability to focus on what – and who – matters most.
What Can You Do?
- Listen to this episode for some powerful ideas 😉
- Batch emails, phone calls, and social media so that you check, respond, or post at pre-determined times.
- Don’t check email, etc unless you intend to respond. When you do check: Deal with it, Delete it, or Delegate it. Don’t let them pile up. This will prevent your inbox from becoming a source of stress.
- Set auto-responders on your email, messenger apps, and voicemail that notify others when they can expect your response. Then follow through on that (build trust in the relationship).
- Keep phones on airplane mode or out of sight when possible.
- Use the greyscale shortcut to make phones less appealing/addictive.
Links and Resources
- Center For Humane Technology, aka timewellspent.io
- Voicemail Advice and Scripts
- Batching Email and Phone Calls For Effective Time Management
- More time on social media linked to reduced happiness
- Social Media and depression in teen girls
- Smartphones and Shorter Attention Spans
- Mental Focus and Smartphones