Updated: Oct 19, 2018
by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip
Do you know how often you are on your cell phone, tablet, computer, or watching videos a day? Technology is a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because as my husband says “we have the source of information at our fingertips.” However, it is a curse because it causes disconnection from relationships, it causes lack of exercise, and it can even cause accidents.
According to hackernoon.com, research has shown that the average American adult spends more than four hours on their smart phone a day and that number is on the rise. If you add in watching videos, using your tablet, and computer. That number increases to almost 12 hours per day stated by eMarketer. That doesn’t leave much time for interaction with people or exercising which are important for your health.
Often people will try to multitask. They will try to hold a conversation with their significant other, friends, family, etc. while reading or texting on the phone. Unfortunately, our brains aren’t designed to work that way. We can’t truly focus on two things at one time. Brain Rules states the brain cannot multitask. So usually the person who we are conversing with is the one who doesn’t get our full attention, becomes frustrated, feels hurt and neglected. This leads to discourse and often relationships can suffer.
Those of us whose jobs involve working on a computer suffer even more, as we are on the computer all day doing work, then come home and start surfing the internet and reading through social media. Before we know it, hours have gone by and we didn’t go exercise or spend quality time with our loved ones.
Mobile phones can cause car accidents. People are so attached to technology that even when they are driving they are texting. This is called distracted driving. As I mentioned above, our brains can’t multitask. Therefore, when driving you need to only focus on driving. According to Edgar Snyder and associates ‘at any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.’ That potentially could lead to 660,000 accidents. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. So remember to put your cell phone away while driving. Your life and the life of others depends on safe driving!
Balance, that is what we need to figure out when using technology. For some of us using our phone has been such an integral part of our day, that it has become a habit and we don’t know how to function without it.
Here are some ways to learn to balance between technology, exercise, and quality relationship time.
1) Before or after work set time (at least 20 – 30 minutes) aside to exercise. I would recommend not to bring your phone as it may be a temptation and distraction from the goal of exercising.
2) The time above could involve walking with your spouse, friend, etc. This will provide quality time and exercise.
3) Set aside a specific amount of time for surfing the net, reading and responding on social media. If you don’t limit your amount it actually can become an addition and be bad for your health.
4) Establish time each day for quality relationship time with NO phone. Leave the phone in another room and just focus on each other. Ask about the others day, how they are doing, etc. You will be amazed how much this improves your health and the health of your relationships.
5) When spending time your quiet time with God, remember no surfing or texting. Unless of course, you are searching for more in-depth study to improve your relationship with God. This takes discipline, but you can do it!
6) Have someone to help you be accountable with helping you limit your time on your phone. As that person helps you, remember to be honest, open, and not become defensive. Many times, when you are defensive, it is because you know that what the person is saying about you being on the phone or not paying attention is correct.
Remember to “Make a Better You” learn to balance life with technology - put down your phone, tablet, and computer - and take time for relationships and exercise.