Written by: Dean Nelson, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight thin their area of expertise.
Technology can make it easy to disconnect from those in the workplace and at home. It can control you in ways you may not be aware of. The attention-grabbing mechanism of technology can distract attention, disrupt engagement, and dilute efforts in many ways. Smartphones are the biggest culprits.
Smartphones can serve us in innumerable ways while providing instant knowledge of unknown subjects, immediate directional maps, entertainment, direct communication, health tracking, social media, calendars, reminders, photos, music, shopping, and more.
The downside is that they can interfere with day-to-day activities, compromising job performance and personal relationships. How often during each day are employees distracted from their work by texting, reading emails, shopping, and watching TikTok videos? Have you ever observed people dining in restaurants whose eyes are focused on their phones rather than the person(s) they are with?
Technology—friend or foe?
I am not denouncing technology, as it serves us well in countless ways. However, it can cause enormous stress if we do not manage it properly. We can become conditioned to immediately respond to the chimes, alerts, and texts that constantly bombard us moment by moment. It diverts our attention from the task at hand or the intimate conversation with a friend or loved one.
At a small gathering of friends one evening, I observed four friends playing a card game. For an hour, all of them were continually engaged with their phones and not each other. Each one of them had to repeatedly remind the others that it was their turn to play. There was little conversation among them as they were all having text conversations with people who were not at the party. They squandered the opportunity to interact meaningfully and enjoy the game thoroughly.
Are you obsessed with technology?
When we become obsessively dependent on technology to such a degree that our lives become disconnected from ourselves and other people, it does more harm than good. Technology can distract us to the degree that it disables us from completing tasks in a timely, proficient manner, diluting our efforts and dividing our minds to the point of mental exhaustion—and we may not even realize it.
We do not fully comprehend the responsibility of using technology to our benefit and not a detriment. Once we discover ways of overcoming the temptations to respond to these alerts when not necessary or when it is not in the best interest of our family, friends, or ourselves, life will invite us to experience more meaningful events and relationships.
Relying excessively on technology can lead to a reduced capacity to derive solutions to daily questions or problems. It’s analogous to answering your child's or student's questions instead of challenging them to formulate their own conclusions while we provide constructive assistance. We should learn first to search our memory banks and intuition and query those around us before relying on our hand-held smart device. It promotes personal engagement and fosters closer, meaningful relationships.
Take back control of your life
Here are some suggestions for appropriately managing your smart devices, shifting your awareness away from technology, and controlling your attention.
When you are working or with family or friends, put your phone on silent mode and place it out of sight. Set a time(s) to check your phone for urgent messages. If you have none, then put the phone back out of sight.
Leave your phone at your desk while taking a restroom, tea, or coffee break at work. Place your focus on doing your job and interacting with your coworkers.
Before you drive your car, put your phone on silent mode. With mindfulness, be present with your driving and other vehicles on the road while making safety a priority on your journey.
While going for a walk, bring your attention to your surroundings. Intentionally view your environment. Observe the sights, sounds, and scents. Be aware of how you are now not distracted by your phone and realize the habit of phone use is under your control.
If you are on public transport, intentionally ignore your phone and your desire to text, listen to music, or watch videos and observe your surroundings, taking in the scenery. You may notice things you were previously unfamiliar with. Use this time to reflect on your day or plan ahead. Many business ideas can be spawned during quiet times.
Meditation is a fine means of contemplation and a way to destress. Breaking from data overload can induce physical and psychological well-being.
Learn to use technology to benefit your life and the lives of those around you.
If you wish to experience a wide array of additional life-changing techniques from the author, Dean Nelson, visit here for books, articles, and research links to awaken your potential.
Dean Nelson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dean Nelson is the best-selling author of three self-help, inspirational, and motivational books with another in the works. For nearly 30 years, he spent countless hours attending seminars, researching, studying, and seeking out ways to awaken his potential. His sincerest passion and mission in life is to provide simple shortcuts to living a more fulfilled and inspired experience. For those who are struggling and ready for change, Nelson shares his enlightening psychology for those seeking an immediate positive transformation.