Technology isn’t half bad. As a matter of fact, they are very effective in making life a whole lot easier. However, where the mental health is concerned, something has to be done. It’s worse for the teens and tweens constantly exposed to the digital world at a very young age. They are more susceptible to its negative effect.
Dr Larry Rosen, a psychology professor who specialises in research on the impact of technology on people, warns that too much time spent on about Facebook by teenagers can result in narcissism, psychological disorders, higher absenteeism from school, lower grades and reduced reading retention.
To save the younger generation and yourself from the manipulative prowess of tech, you simply need to adopt a digital minimalist perspective. Therefore, by realising that you can rule tech, instead of the other way round, you can make progress. You shouldn’t be a slave to it by taking charge of when, why and how you use it.
Let it add value to your life when you do use it. Also, take note of the hours you have in a day. How often do you catch yourself with your phone? There might be a tendency of addiction there but there’s also a solution. This is not the ‘smash your phone’ or ‘delete all your apps’ message, but an alternative lifestyle method.
Here are the best ways you can achieve this. For better mindfulness, you should employ these three ways to outsmart technology.
Three ways you can outsmart technology
Cal Newport, associate professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and the author of six self-improvement books shares about how to get the best out of technology. With these tips, you can easily outsmart technology and lead a better and healthier life.
1. Interact more in the real world
Humans are social beings; even introverts enjoy a good chat even if it’s in private. For this reason, your brain functions in a way that it finds pleasure in interactions, even with cyber ‘pals’. Whenever you deny yourself from checking up on what’s happening, you feel a fear of missing out (FOMO).
“We have this idea of FOMO, which is that if you’re not super-connected, there could be something you’re missing out on. But the reality is that the issue most people are having is that, because they’re using technology more than they know is healthy, it’s crowding out all the things that we know deep down make a good life good.
“People are missing out on real-world conversations, which are crucial for a satisfying life. Being with people in person, sacrificing time and effort to actually be with someone, to connect with them through the good, the bad, the boring, the interesting. We need that to survive.”
Therefore, you should interact with people in real life when you feel the urge to connect with someone. Pick up your phone and call someone up, then make plans to meet and actually do it. Use your phone for a good cause.
2. Get real-time friends and hobbies
If you have nothing to do when you’re bored, you’re more likely to give in to the temptress called tech. Therefore, getting a hobby or a high-quality leisure activity is a great alternative for when you’re bored.
“This is one of the benefits you get from high-quality leisure activities that have a social component to them, such as playing a board game with a group of friends or Ultimate Frisbee with your team. Part of why these types of things seem to be really beneficial is that the structure of the activity allows you a lot more flexibility and enjoyment in your social interaction that you might have in a simple conversation.”
3. Define your values and goals
What exactly are you living for? Is it the number of likes you have, or the followers or comment increase? With a clear goal and value defined, you can strictly abide by them.
“What matters is your whole picture for your life. You’re trying to build a good life that focuses on the things that are important to you. Technology is only useful in so much as it helps support the things you really care about. What this means is that you’re going to be very intentional. ‘Here’s what I really value. I’m going to focus my energy on these things, and I’m going to ignore and miss out on everything else.’
“That intentionality itself can be way more satisfying and positive than the benefits you get from all of those minor conveniences and minor dollops of value. You’re figuring out what’s important to your life.”
You will reign supreme in the face of technology when you outsmart it. Habits are learned, and you can learn a new habit of making alternatives when tempted by tech.