When you identify a communication technology dependence within yourself, you are probably aware that your behavior is unhealthy and needs to change. An addiction to communication technology is not an emergency, but it will have damaging repercussions on your life if you do not bring it under control. Your loved ones will grow impatient with you, your coworkers or fellow students will lose respect for you and your own health will begin to deteriorate. This will not happen over night, but it will happen over time. To prevent this damage to your life, choose to limit your communication technology time by laying down specific boundaries for yourself and holding to them. An example of healthy boundaries on communication technology is as follows:
Do not go to your communications technology first thing in the morning. This simply reaffirms that it is your top priority, and it should not be. Instead, meditate, do yoga, exercise, pray or eat a healthy breakfast. Begin your day focused on something that genuinely matters to your life and makes you feel centered.
Do not use your communications technology during social or family time. If there is any time of day you should put your communications technology down, it is during the time you have in person with the people you care about. If you stay focused on your technology, you devalue the relationships with the people you care about most. Put your computer and phone away and engage with the people in your life.
Allow yourself limited time with your communications technology daily. Do not cut yourself off completely. This would be unreasonable and impractical. Instead, set very clear amounts of time during specific times of day that you can use your communications technology, both for work and entertainment purposes.
Do not go to your communications technology right before bed. This is bad for you on many levels. First, it reaffirms that your communication technology is your highest priority in life. Second, the content gets your brain to generate ideas and thoughts rather than winding down. And third, the blue light that screens generate send signals to your brain to stay awake, disrupting the brain waves that prepare you for good sleep.
Perhaps you have heard the terms “phone addiction” or “computer addiction” thrown around but do not have an understanding of what they mean or whether or not they matter. After all, can something that everyone owns pose any kind of legitimate problem? As it turns out, they can. Addiction to phones and computers is becoming a widespread phenomenon. On the whole, society has become overly dependent on this recent technology for its convenience and for its entertainment value. This would not matter if communication technology was not reducing our health, damaging our relationships and weakening our ability to focus on responsibilities, but it is.
When computers were first introduced, they had some addictive qualities even prior to the internet. When the internet became a household staple, their addictive appeal increased dramatically. Computers are the most advanced piece of technology that most people own, and our fascination with them is immense. They have incredible processing power for so many functions, including games, task management programs, web surfing, creative programs and many other features that allow their user endless entertainment. A person can become overly reliant on their computer for all the functions it can perform, both productive and entertainment oriented.
Cell phones pose a similar problem. Where as computers are more likely to be stationed at home, where people set aside time for focusing on them, cell phones literally travel with a person everywhere. This makes them very easy to be overly attached to. Some of the reasons we keep cell phones close by us are good reasons, such as to be accessible to our close friends and family in the event of emergencies, but some reasons are not as good, such as constantly browsing social media sites or looking up trending videos. It has been universally determined that this behavior is damaging our social skills, sense of community and understanding of appropriate boundaries. Cell phone and computer use are much healthier when they are strictly moderated.
Modern communication technology has become a common global fixture, and is particularly prevalent in developed regions such as the United States and Canada. Mankind has always relied on some form of communication technology, though the early forms of it, such as horse and rider delivered letters and homing pigeons, are very rustic compared to modern times. Currently, communication technology comes in many forms, and almost all of them are digital in nature. The two most common forms of communication technology are computers and phones.
Computers have evolved over the years into many different shapes, sizes and functions. When they were first emerging in the 1960’s, they were so big that they could fill an entire room. When they were originally for sale, they were large, clunky desktop items that came with many hardware components. In the present time, they have become compact and mobile, available as laptops and tablets, although desktop computers are still available to those whose purposes they suit. The average adult owns a personal computer that they use for digital storage and for all their communication and information needs, such as research, banking, shopping, e-mails, social media and group chats.
Phones, and particularly smart phones, are essentially small computers for all the processing that they do. The difference between a phone and a computer is of course how they relay a signal and how their communication functions work. Phones are more effective communication devices because they transmit a signal more widely than a computer does. They are created primarily as communication devices, complete with a size and shape that is compact and handheld for the ease of communication, where as a computer offers communication features as one of many primary functions. Modern smart phones also have many computer features, including full access to the internet, GPS capabilities and a number of programs that originated with computers.
We live in a time of overwhelming access to information. We are steadily barraged by information, whether we want it or not. The world is much more globally connected than it used to be, and we receive information via cell phones, computers, tablets, television, internet and a number of other electronic devices. Some of us make efforts to limit the time we spend interacting with our information and communications technology. Others are controlled by it and have developed an unhealthy dependence on it. This may seem harmless and commonplace, but actually, technology dependence has become a legitimate addiction and inspires unhealthy behavior and thought patterns.
A person addicted to information and communications technology, such as computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets, is overly reliant on their digital devices. They become anxious and irritable when separated from their digital device. They are using it excessively throughout the day with no regard for manners or social considerations. They use their digital device at meal times, on dates, in the middle of conversations, when they wake up and right before they go to sleep. This has negative effects on their relationships, reputation and even their physical health. Social scientists have found a connection between physical deterioration and technology addiction.
It should become a priority to anyone addicted to information and communications technology to curb their dependence. It is a matter of personal wellness and mental health. Any kind of addiction deteriorates your mental health, as well as your physical health if it is allowed to go on indefinitely. An addiction to technology may not seem like an urgent threat, but it does cause problems over time, some of which are very serious. If you are struggling with limiting yourself when it comes to information and communications technology, set personal goals for yourself, write out how you are going to achieve them and do not be ashamed to ask for outside help if you find yourself failing repeatedly. A great many people have overcome a great many addictions and would be more than happy to give you pointers.