Updated: Sep 9, 2019
My tech essentials
So here are the three things I can’t leave the house without:
I use them so often I think at least half of my day is spent with technology. Sometimes I wonder whether technology has changed us for better or for worst. Everything has two sides to it, right?
The bright side of technology
Technology has transformed almost all aspects of our life: how we get and consume information and content, how we communicate and socialize with each other, how we bank, shop, eat, and live in our homes. Not to mention, technology even changed how we date and fall in love!
Undoubtedly, technology has made our life much easier and more enjoyable. Everything is at your fingertip and connecting with people around the world has become easier than ever. You can use any social media platforms and instantly know what’s going on in any part of the world.
You’re hungry? Endless food options are just within 30 minutes of delivery. Missing your friends and family? Calling or sending them messages has become easier than ever. Feeling lonely and wishing you could spend time with someone special? Your future spouse might just be one swipe away. Technology has made it so easy and convenient to have everything at our fingertip.
No one can deny the benefits of technology in our lives, but what about the drawbacks? What about the dark side of technology?
The dark side that no one wants to talk about
Technology has made instant gratification become the norm. The average human attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds (in 2000) to 8.25 seconds (in 2015), that’s a decrease of more than a quarter in 15 years. We want things to be easy, quick, and offer pleasure immediately; otherwise, we would quickly turn to something else that provides us with that instant gratification. This phenomenon has affected our productivity negatively, make us more susceptible to information overload, poor concentration and burn-out.
“Technology has made us more connected, but at the same time, more alone and isolated.” - Sherry Turkle
Not only is our productivity negatively impacted by the excess of information and instant gratification, but it’s also getting in the way of real socializing. How many times have you seen a group of friends or a couple at a restaurant just staring at their smartphones without talking to each other? In this current smartphone-obsessed culture, face-to-face conversations are seen less and less in social settings. It’s comforting to stick to our phones and look like we’re busy doing something else rather than approaching someone and starting a conversation.
How can we balance it out and make the most out of technology?
Regardless of all the negative impact, technology has undeniably enhanced the quality of life and become an integral part of our existence. The question we should ask ourselves right now is not, “how can we eliminate technology?” (because that’s just impossible) but “how can we increase our productivity, become happier, and use technology with purpose?”
Here are some quick, practical tips for using technology effectively:
Unplug regularly: From time to time, give yourself a break from the digital world. Turn off all your tech devices, pick up a book, go for a walk, paint, hike, spend time with loved ones, with no interruptions from notifications or emails.
Turn your phone screen face down/ have it in your purse/ leave your phone at home when you go out with friends and family: Dedicate 100% of your attention to the people who deserve it the most. It’s okay if you use your phones to just take several pictures of the food and selfies with your friends, just keep it minimal.
Turn off notifications on your phone: I don’t get notifications from any apps on my phone (except for messages and calls). Furthermore, I dedicate specific hours in a day to check my inbox on social media and emails, so I get all my work done uninterruptedly and free of distractions.
I hope these quick tips help! If you have any other suggestions on how we can be in control over our technology usage, let me know in the comments!