Much of what we see presently was incomprehensible for most people just forty years ago. The average person then could not likely have imagined what the average person now has access to. The idea of so many people walking around today with personal, portable hand-held computers was inconceivable.
Think about the amazing blessings of technology. The ability to access information in mere seconds can be both convenient and wonderful. Reaching nearly anyone at any time expedites solutions to problems and brings loved ones together sooner. Unprecedented advances in a wide range of fields such as medicine are taking place due to technology. So why are timeouts needed for users?
Human beings are not machines. We are mental, emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual beings. Technology is not a human being. As complex beings with emotions, we must rest. That includes the brain. If you operate as a machine, you invite suffering. Mentally and emotionally, you can become consumed with personal technology to the point of burnout and other major health issues such as severe insomnia and brain dysregulation. In everyday life, obsession with the cell phone can be a real impediment in relationships. The next time you go to a restaurant or public place, observe the engagement people have with their phones versus each other.
Here is where the idea of balance can help. Only the user can decide when enough is enough. Utilize these steps to move toward a sense of balance:
- Monitor how often you are engaged with technology, particularly your cell phone.
- Put your phone and laptop away completely for an hour, maybe longer, unless you are on call in your work. Notice your thoughts and how you react during that timeout.
- Consider how you may be using your phone and technology as an escape from resolving problems or engaging with loved ones. Reflect on any physical consequences you may be experiencing from lack of sleep, poor diet, or lack of motivation and its possible connection to technological overuse.
- Challenge yourself to put your phone away at meals with others.