The Digital Addiction and How to Overcome it

As the world goes digital so does your personal life until it no longer belongs to you. Read on to find out how you can get it back.

As a direct result of this digitization has emerged a new type of addiction – digital addiction. While the benefits of technology – both as a teaching tool and for business – are many, its harmful effects cannot be denied. Here then are some ways you can avoid – or overcome –the addiction and live a happy and healthy life alongside your gadgets.

Read about the impact of technology on children.

Take Stock

Sit down with your family and bring all the gadgets in your home to the table. Then make a list and decide which are necessary – you will need gadgets if you want to survive in the 21st century – and which are superfluous. Get rid of any extra, unnecessary ones if only by placing them in a locked cupboard and throwing away the key.

Self-Awareness

Be consciously aware of your addiction. Acknowledge it to yourself before you do so to others. Recognize the fact that you cannot remain far from a device for any length of time. Kids are perceptive, and know full well, the amount of time you spend with your cell phone and they will follow your example. This then, is the first step. Acknowledge that you are addicted.

Lay Down the Rules

Once you have overcome the initial hurdle of acknowledging your digital addiction, the next step is to lay down the rules. Set aside time for technology and time for other things. Make a small beginning by earmarking tech and non-tech times of the day. Stick to this schedule yourself, and get others in the household to follow your example.

Set achievable goals

As you lay down the rules, remember that you want to succeed in your efforts. Set goals and rules that you can achieve. For instance do not ban the use of mobiles altogether – you still need to stay in touch – limit its use instead. Similarly, no mobiles during dinner may be achievable but no mobile in the evening may not. Set practical goals that are doable rather than aiming for the moon.

Make it a Family Endeavor

Whatever your role in the family, if you try to go it alone, your path will be riddled with obstacles because you will have to work around the others. Instead, make it a goal for the entire family. Sit down together and discuss the possibility of doing this. You may have to work a bit at convincing everyone but you will have a better chance at success. If the whole family knows the rules, everyone will make efforts to follow them and this will make the task easier and your goal reachable.

Reconnect

The obsession with gadgets has resulted in a strange disconnect among members of the family and among others. Even as you lay down the rules for use of technology, simultaneously lay down rules for “family time” when the whole family sits together and exchanges the news of the day. Meal times – particularly dinner the last meal of the day – are great for this. You will be surprised with the results once you begin to do this.

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Let others know

Advertise your decision to reduce the use of technology. Let those in your social circles know that you have consciously determined to reduce the use of gadgets in your home. This will serve two purposes. First, it will motivate you further to stick to your decision and secondly, it will give others an understanding of your changed behavior – after all you will not be replying to every post from now on!

Socialize

Once you have let others’ know about your decision, begin socializing. Arrange visits to friends’ homes. Visit elderly relatives and spend some time with them. Offer to have them over for the day. You can also do this for kids in the neighborhood. Join a club or a kitty or start a kiddies club where children come to have some fun. Have sleepovers, potluck lunches, the list is endless. In short, socialize and reconnect while having fun.

Fulfil Your Dream

One fear that many people have when reducing the use of technology is that they will have too much time on their hands and nothing to do. To fill this void, think of a hobby or dream that you always wanted to pursue and take steps to fulfill it. Ask around and see how you can go about doing this. If nothing else, the research will occupy your time. Don’t search online though it defeats the very purpose of your endeavor!

Go on a Holiday

One good rule with regard to technology is not to carry your devices when you go on a holiday. Of course, you will want to carry a couple of cell phones for emergencies and to call and let people back home know that you are safe and well. However, leave your tabs, laptops and what-have-you at home and explore very place you visit with the gusto and enthusiasm of youth.

Turn Notifications off

Those tiny red, green, and orange dots are as irresistible as the pastry you see in the cake shop. Turn them off – you will still get the messages – on all applications on your device. Then sit yourself down during your “tech-time,” put up your legs and check all the posts and messages to your heart’s content. Keep a sharp eye on the clock though! Time is up!

Make Your Personal Space Device Free

Remember the days of the dial-up phones. Make a rule never to carry your device into your bedroom. Anything – no matter how urgent – can wait a few minutes while you walk out of your room to answer your phone. Keep your ring tone loud enough that you can hear it in your room; then walk out to answer your phone when it rings. It will give you some much-needed exercise besides keeping you away from your device. Moreover, you can truly unwind in your room.

Get a Desktop

A laptop is, without doubt, easier and more convenient to use when compared with a desktop. On the other hand, a desktop must be connected by wires and hence stationary. Getting a desktop means, restricting yourself to use it at that one place where it is located and this acts as a great limiter in the use of technology – besides desktops are much cheaper than laptops.

Switch to Paper

True, you began storing our grocery and other lists on our mobiles because you could never locate a pen when you needed it or because you always misplaced a written list. Then it became one of the factors that got you hooked to your device. If you want to overcome your addiction, switch back to good old paper and pen. You can tuck the written list in your mobile cover if you like. Alternatively, get one of those diaries with a pen attached to a string and put it in your pocket.

Technology has its advantages. However, like all other things, it is a double-edged sword. Use it wisely and stay away from its side effects.

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