Are you tired of hearing about the health risks that come along with the convenience of technology? There are statistics and scientific studies everywhere warning about the dangers of technology. Watching too much television puts you at risk of obesity. Your cell phone can ruin a great night of sleep. Video games can turn into an addiction that wrecks your life. Is there any hope of enjoying technology without sabotaging your health or ruining your social life?
The answer is yes. Many people are using technology to their advantage rather than their detriment, and you can do the same with these five simple strategies.
1. Keep your social media circles tight.
You don’t allow just anyone access to your home or discussions about your deepest secrets, so why would you open your personal social media accounts to anyone who sends a request? Research has shown that social media is connected to depression only when negative experiences are encountered, and the best way to keep out the negativity is to control the people in your circle.
If you need to maintain a wide network for professional reasons, create a clear separation between your personal and business accounts. You still don’t have to tolerate rudeness or abuse on your business pages, so don’t hesitate to block out followers who bring negativity to your space. Your followers will appreciate the focus on positivity and may trust you more for keeping it peaceful.
2. Champion face-to-face interaction, and make those encounters technology-free moments.
Research has shown that feelings of loneliness increase with social media use. Your body releases the “happy hormone” known as dopamine as you use social media, yet you’re more likely to feel alone if your social life is largely rooted in online interaction.
Turn this around by challenging yourself to choose in-person communication whenever possible. Turn all electronic devices off and place your full attention on people in your real life, and you’re likely to feel happier and better connected.
3. Favor technology that pushes you toward your goals.
You don’t have to jump on every high-tech trend that makes the rounds. When something new grabs your attention, ask yourself how it will help you reach your current goals. This will help you decide when to invest your time in new gadgets and systems and when to pass.
It’s not about what you can financially afford. We’re talking about selecting technology that helps you succeed in some way.
For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, you may buy an elliptical with built-in video courses or a FitBit while passing on video games connected to a television set. If you have professional ambitions, you may choose to download an app that keeps you organized and focused rather than the latest game.
4. Take steps to boost your self-confidence while focusing on your unique talents.
Research has shown that the risk of disordered eating habits increases with social media usage. The more time you spend on any social media site, the more likely you are to have some eating pattern that is concerning to professionals.
This may come from overeating as you mindlessly snack and scroll through your newsfeed. You may also think negatively about yourself after looking at the physical achievements of others, leading you to overeat or restrict your eating in a harmful manner.
You can fix this by controlling what you “like” and read on social media, but it’s even better to actively spend time boosting your self-confidence. Write down everything you have achieved at the end of each day. Set personal goals and take pride in your determination to better yourself.
Always remember that you’re only in competition with yourself. There are many ways to improve your life with technology, but that requires selecting your technology with care rather than reacting to advertisements or following the crowd.