By becoming aware of how and when we are engaging with technology, we can explore whether we are utilizing technology in a balanced manner. But what does balanced mean? Balanced use of anything in our lives means that it isn’t disrupting or taking away from other aspects of our daily lives, we aren’t neglecting our real-life relationships in favor of checking out or zoning out with technology. Balanced use is mindful and aware.
As with in other aspects of our wellness journey, the first step to examining our technological consumption and use is to start logging it. For the next week or two maintain a daily log of how often you are online, how much time you’re spending on a particular site, app or game, and how you feel when you are engaging in these activities. Compare it to the time you spend with loved ones, on hobbies or other unplugged activities. Spend some time contemplating whether or not you’re using technology in a balanced way.
If you find that you’re using it as an escape or distraction, to mentally check out, identify what’s going on at a deeper level, and ask yourself what you need to regain equilibrium.
Important questions to ask yourself
- What are you not getting enough of?
- What do you want more of in your life?
- Do you need more “me time”?
- Do you feel disconnected from your friends or family?
- Do you need time to recharge?
- Are you avoiding a situation?
- Are you using the distraction to numb uncomfortable feelings?
Find ways to address and fulfill these needs so that you can zone back in and be present in your life. For and extra challenge try to do a technology detox and unplug for a day, a week or a month and see how it changes the way you experience and interact with the world around you.