Thursday, 22 January 2015

Addicted To Our Tech?

In a tech savvy world we are learning to depend on our technology from a very young age. This may very well surprise you but technology in an every minute form only appeared in our lives over the last decade with smart phones enabling us to use apps, internet, online reading and other wi-fi connections we didn't have before. Yet we are all teaching our children,  parents, grandparents and ourselves how to become more and more active online, is this really what we need? Our generation is changing the way we think and act because of technology.

It's been proven that technology is effecting our brains in many ways, to name just one; our attention spans are growing shorter along with our patience. The technology around us is growing faster every week, month and year. I am not in anyway saying that this is a bad thing,  technology has changed our world in treatment and diagnosis of illness and diseases along with scientific research and discovery. However with the world only a click of a button away our real life everyday is changing and this is what I am talking about.

I suppose I should tell you how this post originated from.  A few weeks ago Simon (Daddy) was watching a programme on his phone which he transferred onto the TV after about 10 minutes.  The programme was about virtual reality addiction,  it was sort of like Jeremy Kyle but not at the same time.  Real people talking about someone they know or knew (mainly loved ones) who had become addicted to the virtual reality of games. Around half way through Simon said and I quote

"I used to be like that before D! I  was  addicted  to  call  of  duty..."

with every word if that sentence coming slower than the last I could tell it finally hit home, I have been saying for a few months now that he's addicted to his phone and as realisation hit I knew as well as he did that this was impacting our lives. Now you must understand that he isn't constantly using his phone in his hand but almost all his daily activities involve technology in some way or another for instance, when doing housework,  walking and going to sleep he listens to music. Well that's normal I hear you say? No it's not when it's all usually done through head phones.

Admitting to being addicted to tech us just one thing,  next we had to do something about it! Clearly it was impacting all our lives with tech free time being stressful and tiring we decided the best way to start was to determine how long we could without tech and using our phones. I set a challenge for Simon and in aim of being supportive (as well as curious) I tried it too, we had to be tech free for one day from after breakfast to bed time. It doesn't sound to hard does it? After several hours it became apparent that Simon would use his phone, soon.  We both had our phones but just weren't to use them. After all we where just testing our own will power when technology is involved.  I did manage to not use my phone except once to answer a text from my sister (it was a time limited question) for the whole day. It beeped and beeped with notifications but we had to test how well we could do with them.

After our 'test' we looked at how to change things and become less tech dependant.  The only solution we could agree on was that we needed to set a tech free time every day and one day a week with more tech free time than the others. So every day we now have 2-3 hours technology free with a Sunday becoming a real tech free afternoon with 4-5 hours of Phone free family time. Phone free time allows us to maybe watch a film together (obviously family friendly) or to put on some music for us to shake our booty's to! We are cooking together almost every night, eating healthier and are having more play time with D and our house is staying cleaner.

I have to say that 3 weeks ago I really thought that our life was becoming so predictable and repetitive.  Every day something is different or changing, Simon did say the other day that he seems to feel closer to us and closer as a family compared to 2 months ago. After a short conversion we determined that every part of that closer whittles down to technology taking a back seat in our lives.

Do you know someone or possibly yourself who might be addicted to tech?
How long do you spend offline?
How many person to person conversations do you have a day?
Do you become agitated and annoyed after an hour or two without your tech?
You might benefit from taking a quick quiz, we found that this one was very telling for us. Take a step today and see if your addicted to your tech!

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