It is staggering the degree to which technology influences lives. People are entertained by their televisions, keep in touch through cell phones and email, and power the appliances and devices in homes through advanced power grids. There seems to be very little non-technological living done any more. Almost every activity these days seems tied to technology in some way or another.
All this interaction with technology on an almost continuous basis can be stressful and exhausting. Many people experience fatigue, lack of enjoyment with life, and edginess due to the constant demands of a tech-connected world. To overcome technology burnout, consider these three ways to keep from drowning in tech stress:
Define What is Crucial
While commercials and other advertisements may trumpet a certain gadget or type of technology as essential, much of technology is not as necessary as people have been led to believe. Look over the various electronic items that are used daily and decide which ones are truly necessary. Perhaps those computer chips in gym shoes are not really as important as they seemed. Maybe having a television screen on the refrigerator is a bit overboard.
Once non-essential devices have been eliminated, take a look at what’s left. Of the essential items, begin looking at features or applications that aren’t truly necessary. That cell phone app that sends an alert every time somebody famous tweets something may not actually be improving life very much. That tablet feature that constantly gives updates of fashion trends is probably not terribly critical.
Interact More Face to Face
Phone calls and online chats are great when there is a serious distance separating people, but many times conversations are held via text messages or cell calls when the two parties are literally within walking distance of each other. Humans need physical contact with other. A handshake or hug, a voice heard in person, and shared laughter all help to lower stress levels and even prevent certain illnesses.
During social interaction, try to engage in something light or fun. Consider a sporting event or an art show. Avoid sports bars where TVs cover the walls or malls where technology is screaming from every corner.
Get Back to Nature
Many studies cite improvement in mood and overall well-being due to greater exposure to nature and animals. Getting a pet or taking a walk in a secluded forest helps the mind unwind. The sounds of nature are far more soothing than the beeping and buzzing of modern electronics. The sound of wind rustling through trees or birds singing are important, calming effects that can ease burnout.
Simply adding some plants or a bird feeder are great ways to bring a little more nature into life. Even people who live in congested cities can at least look up at the clouds or watch a sunrise. Any amount of nature that can be incorporated into the day will help.
Much of life requires some interaction with technology. If tech is causing burnout, though, it is time to limit it and seek out offline diversions. It will improve health, help ease stress, and make for a better quality of life.
Lisa Coldridge is an IT manager and guest author at Top Colleges Online, where she contributed to the guide to top colleges for technology management degrees.