I love technology. I have numerous email accounts. I write a wellness blog that I update almost daily using my laptop. I use YouTube, online news videos, Hulu, and other online sources every time I teach a class. I just recently have been getting more into Twitter and Facebook and enjoy how it connects me with people and knowledge from all over the world. We don’t have t.v., but I have discovered that I can watch many shows online (sort of defeats the whole giving up t.v. thing…).
So yes, a large part of my day is filled with technology, and for the most part I love it. However, technology can take over your life, which is not healthy. I think the key to “making technology work” is to take frequent tech breaks. Here are some general suggestions for taking tech breaks to help prevent technology overload:
- Assess where you are at when it comes to technology. Make a list of all the technology in your life (email accounts, texting, twitter, Facebook, blogs, other social media sites, etc.) and write down about how much time you spend on each facet. Tally up the time to see how many hours per day you are “connected.”
- Use a timer and take a tech break every 60 minutes. Get up, walk around, stretch, and/or go outside for a few minutes if you can.
- Make at least one day per week technology free. Do you really need to be “connected” seven days a week? You may think you do, but try just going “tech-free” for one day and see how it feels.
- Explore low-tech or non-tech alternatives: talking vs. emailing, writing a letter, making a phone call, etc. You may be surprised by what you’ve been missing…
- Take a tech-free vacation. I know it may seem impossible at first, but nothing is really impossible. You’ll see… 🙂
When I went back to grad school, I noticed that what it meant to being a “connected” student was changing fast. No longer did I have to go to the library to look through microfiche for articles. Or copy articles out of actual bound journals. Pretty much everything is available online today. And when I teach classes, most of my course content is available online for my students. While this is very convenient for instructors and students, I am also a bit sad that many of my students haven’t set foot into a library in a long time (or ever.) When was the last time you went to a library? If it’s been a while, go and explore one. You never know what you’ll find…
Tech Breaks, Career Planning, and Job Search
Technology is essential while planning your career and searching for a job as it allows you to get and stay in touch with a large number of people. However, don’t forget your real life, in-person contacts. Here are two things you should remember when planning your career and searching for a job:
- Take advantage of events that let you get in contact with people in-person, such as job fairs, workshops, conferences, and networking events.
- Instead of sending an email or staying in touch electronically, make a phone call or ask your contacts out to lunch.
Question: What do you do to take a break from technology? I would love it if you answered this question before you unplug… 🙂