My family and my brother’s family traveled to spend Father’s Day weekend with my parents. Sitting around the kitchen table, my father was poking fun of the fact that there were several people on their smart phones checking Facebook, Twitter or texting instead of interacting with the people around them.
As the popularity of smart phones and the use of social media exploded over the last few years, this phenomenon has become almost commonplace. I know I’m certainly guilty of feeling like I need to post a picture of what I’m doing to Facebook instantly instead of living in and enjoying the moment. I’m also guilty of checking my phone for email or social media notifications when I’m stopped at a red light. After all, I’ve got a spare 40 seconds, why not?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This has led to people questioning whether they should take designated â€œtechnology breaksâ€ where they put the smart phones away, turn the computers off, hide the TV remote for a day or a weekend in order to really enjoy the people around them, and the world they live in.
The problem is, these technology breaks simply don’t work.
I’ve seen friends take a break from social media for weeks at a time, then return by announcing they’re back, and spending just as much time online as they did before. In my opinion, taking a break from technology just gives a person a reason to justify spending even more time online when they return.
A friend of mine asked on facebook recently if anyone of his friends would consider taking a break from technology. My answer was a resounding, â€œNo.â€ Technology is meant to make our lives easier, why would I take a break from using things that make my life easier?
It’s simply about learning balance, courtesy, and common sense.
It’s actually pretty easy if you think about it:
- When sitting at a red light, would you start opening your mail that you just retrieved from your mailbox, or pull out a pen and paper and start writing a letter to your friend? No? Then leave your email alone.
- If you’re sitting at the dinner table with your family, would you dial up a friend and have a conversation with them in front of the others at the table? No? Then leave social media off.
- When ordering at a restaurant, or checking out at a clothing store, do you normally tell employee to wait while you finish up a conversation with your friend standing right next to you? No? Then why would you initiate, or receive a phone call when you know you need to give your attention to someone trying to provide a service for you?
As we were getting ready to leave my parent’s house, I noticed the forecasted high for the day was well into the 80’s, but we had left our air conditioning off. I didn’t want to come home to an uncomfortably warm home, so I pulled up my smart phone app for my wifi enabled thermostat and turned on the AC from across the state. By the time I got home a few hours later, my house was a cool and comfortable haven from the warm summer temperatures.
Technology use at it’s finest.
We don’t need to take breaks from technology. Technology is not evil. We simply need to learn how to use it correctly.
How do you misuse technology? Have you ever thought about taking a “technology break?” Do you think it would work?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock