Do you truly understand how your devices affect you mentally and emotionally?
Last night I went to a holiday party, without my Apple watch, iPhone, wallet or even house keys. My partner had the house keys so I had all I needed for the night. I didn't miss my any of my devices. I didn't check to see the time, my email or any texts coming in because I didn't have the direct means to do it. It felt natural and allowed me to engage with the other human beings around me. I got a chance to be introduced to a new person and we wanted to make sure we connected afterwards. Usually I connect on Linkedin because it's my contact card and is always updated with email and phone number if you are connected to me. However, she decided she would take my number and text me. Bam we are connected :). However, what she said afterwards blew me away! She said, she could see I was a happy person with my life without being engaged by devices all the time. I appreciated the sentiment since I truly didn't miss my devices last night and I was in a great mental and emotional space. I did make the mistake of looking at my phone before I went to sleep and read something that affected me emotionally - negatively. At which point my partner reminded me I shouldn't have picked up my device till the next morning! Good reminder!
In the past couple of days, I've changed one other device habit. I no longer have any devices charging next to my bed table. All devices are in the living room, charging on a new desk, my partner set up for me, to work. It's great because it forces me out of bed before I get on a device and start working in bed. More importantly, it's giving my eyes some time to adjust as I wake up without the strain of looking at a device. (I already have bad eyes and I am sure looking at devices is not helping!) I admit it's only been a couple days but I definitely like this setup and I am not missing my devices first thing in the morning. I will say that after almost 5 years of not waking up with an alarm, it also helps that I don't need the devices. (BTW you can still buy plain alarm clocks if you decide to leave your device somewhere else). In fact, not having the devices is giving me some time to deal with any thoughts in my head and starting the day with less stress and a clean slate of what I want to accomplish.
Both of these changes have definitely brought some positive change in me. Overcoming being lazy and focus on things I truly want to do. More importantly, it's helping me get out from behind my device to interact, think differently and focus. On the challenging side, I may also be going through a little withdrawal! The routine of not having my devices close to me is making me aware of my change from a "nomadic" state of being to a more "settler" lifestyle. Being able to create habits with my device remind me that I have structure and focus in my life. My free spirited side is trying to manage the emotions and different mental state that come along with the new lifestyle. It's always critical to look at, both sides of any change, in our lives.
I look forward to seeing what other changes this conscious habit, of changing my relationship with devices, will take on me. As a supporter and avid user of technology, I am constantly thinking about the affects it has on me, the people around me, business and the future of our society. There is both positive and negative that comes out of the technology we use.
So can you articulate to yourself how your interaction with your devices affects you emotionally and mentally?
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