Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slow down and unplug

I read somewhere recently (if I could remember where I would tell you) that addiction to technology is the fastest growing addiction in America. I had never thought of the incessant use of cell phones, e-mail, ipods, etc. being classified as an addiction. In the current issue of Reader's Digest there is a great article about controlling your use of technology instead of allowing it to control you. Here are some interesting facts from the article:

- the average American office worker sends and receives 108 e-mails a day

- a 2007 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 48% of Americans feel their lives have become more stressful over the last five years

- we now receive more information in 72 hours than our parents likely received in a month

Access to all of that information can be good, but it is also overwhelming. We contact people daily through e-mail and cell phones, but the downside is that we are always accessible, even when we shouldn't be. Here are some tips listed in the article about how to deal with information overload in our lives.

- Take Baby Steps: Try being inaccessible for short periods of time and see what happens. The world probably won't implode.

- Set Limits: Rein in office e-mail and text message traffic. Do you really need an update on things every 30 minutes?

- Give Clear Instructions: Let people you deal with know when you read and respond to e-mail, that way they won't expect an instant response.

- Stick to a Schedule: Handle recreational web surfing and e-mail at set times. Dipping in and out is classic self-interruption.

Technolgy can help you be more productive, but it can cause lots of stress if you aren't careful. Since moving to a desert island isn't a realistic option for most of us I hope these tips will help you manage your life.


blake said...

a few things....

a) never have i received 100 emails in one day.
b) add blogs to the li9st of things that people are addicted to.
c) when we first got married we didn't have internet or TV. the world did implode. luckily we fixed it.

Jeanne said...

I read this article in Reader's Digest and was impressed with the 19 year old (I believe he's 19) that "unplugs" himself from technology every Sunday. As much as I love checking my email and following blogs (yes Blake, they are addictive!)it is almost a relief for me that I try to stay off the computer on weekends. It doesn't always happen, but I try my best. Great posting, Cliff. See you Sunday!