How to build a healthy relationship with technology

How to build a healthy relationship with technology

09 October 2020

We all use technology every day. But, with the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives have turned upside down. Most of us are forced to live remotely - from virtual meetings, online classes, and even workouts, we have to do everything online.

Despite the fact that our lives became more flexible, there is also a bad side: we are exposed to screens most of the day. According to a study, the average adult receives 63 notifications on a daily basis, and most of them are viewed within a few minutes.

Being exposed to too much technology can have a negative impact on our relationships, cause physiological damage, and other health issues. The Association for Computing Machinery observed 40,000 different users reacting to notifications. They discovered that employees had a hard time concentrating on their job after they received a notification. If the task is mentally demanding, the effect is more noticeable.

In order to create a healthy relationship with technology, we have some helpful tips for you. First, you need to realize where you are when you spend most of the time on your devices. Then consider following these useful tips.

  • Make agreements with everyone in your household to manage expectations of media use and encourage healthy online activities.
  • When you are with a friend, a loved one or a family member, make an agreement not to use technology and enjoy the moment.
  • Take time to completely detox from technology. Stay offline for a day, a weekend or even an entire week.

Best technology practices

It’s not recommended to grab your phone immediately after waking up because it can increase your stress and anxiety. It will also hijack your time and attention. A better and healthier way to start your day is without checking your technology devices.

  • Stop checking your smartphone before eating breakfast.
  • Avoid using your phone or computer as an alarm clock.
  • When using devices, choose useful activities like educational media and video games instead of a passive activity like watching TV.
  • Mute all kinds of content from negative accounts and block irrelevant ads.
  • Limit notifications from irrelevant apps that don’t ask for an immediate response.
  • Create screen time limits after you realize where you spend the majority of your time.

Just like you shouldn’t check your phone as soon as you wake up, it’s also not recommended to use it at least one hour before going to bed. It will reduce the natural production of the hormone melatonin which means checking your phone before bed is equal to a restless sleep.

What can you do before going to bed?

  • Avoid using devices at least an hour before going to sleep and remove all kinds of technology from the bedroom.
  • Activate the ‘Do not disturb’ mode before you go to sleep.

Limit screen time

Excessive technology use can have negative effects on humans, especially on children whose minds are still developing. In order to create a healthy relationship with technology is to limit screen time on all devices including your TVs.

First, check how much time you spent on each device in settings. Also, make sure all family members respect the agreements are in place so the expectations around technology are clear.

Finding out where the majority of time is spent on your phone is useful to understand how you’re managing your screen time. There are many screen time apps that can help you manage and control the amount of time your or your kids spend on the phone, tablet, laptop, etc.

The first think you need to do is to set limits on your TV. You can allow yourself to watch one episode per day, or one movie per every two days. If you don't have any self control, you can turn off the auto-play feature so you won't feel tempted to watch another episode.

Screen time limits can also be very useful especially when you are working. It will help you stay focused and complete your work within a set timeframe.

It’s also important to create a healthy relationship with video games as well. Even though games can be a form of escapism, users should be able to balance this hobby with other responsibilities.

Avoid gaming setups in your room and children’s bedrooms, because it can have a negative impact on your sleeping schedule. Even though many consoles don’t have built-in controls for screen time management, there are always apps you can install on your computer or phone to block usage.

Despite managing screen time, you can also use some additional tools to maintain a healthy digital relationship. Consider adding the following things into your routine:

  • Bluelight glasses will help you block blue light waves and UV rays. Say goodbye to eye strain and headaches!
  • Limit screen apps will help you track screen time and signal where limits are needed.
  • Parental controls features will help you monitor your children’s online activities and decide which content they can watch.

These tips will also help you stay focused if you work from home.

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