Technology is omnipresent, and it is not slowing down any time soon. If anything, it will continue to create quicker paths to achieving what we want and need. I often find myself infatuated with the ease technology provides for booking reservations for dinner, finding a flight home or paying my yoga teacher directly from my bank account.
As with anything exciting, boundaries are helpful, especially with something as addictive as technology. Here are a few guidelines I have set for myself to find moments of human connection in a world fueled by technology.
- Set phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
- Turn off any and all blue lights on my phone, iPad or laptop at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Write in a journal first thing in the morning rather than check email, social media or texts.
- Leave my phone at home for a day. This is a gut check on how dependent you are on apps, social media and other programs.
- Once a month, do a technology and social media detox, consisting of a whole day using zero apps. Take notice of your mood, energy, sleep quality, thoughts and how you fill your free time. Just notice the effect technology has—and what you’re like without it around to constantly fill your time and headspace.
Technology and health
On the flip side, technology can play a helpful role in your health and wellness journey. There are incredible apps on the market to support your eating, meditation and exercise habits. Technology can keep you connected to others, and in turn accountable. You can share your progress with friends (or strangers) on social media or fitness tracker apps in real time. I’ve found that apps like MyFitnessPal and Lifesum are great for tracking what and how much food I fuel my body with on a daily basis.
Shop around and take some time to find one or a few apps that resonate with your needs. Technology can serve many of your daily needs and help you meet your goals, often with just the touch of a button. But as with any goal in life, it is crucial to understand why you want what you want. From a behavioral psychology perspective, it is equally important to have a trigger to prompt a new healthy habit as it is to have the motivation or desire itself. This is where technology excels. It has the ability to positively nudge you to complete your new habit, track your food, start to meditate, go to bed earlier, stand up and stretch, drink more water—you name it, technology can remind you, guide you, praise you and repeat it all over and over again whenever you deem fit.
Technology will continue to evolve, and as one of my mentors told me a long time ago, it’s better to adapt than resist the change because it is only going to move faster. So I did, and with proper boundaries in place, I can confidently say that technology supports my life and goals, and I am eager to see how it will continue to be a helpful, integral part of my health and wellness journey.
Photo credit: bernardbodo, Thinkstock