“We all need a technological detox; we need to throw away our phones and computers instead of using them as our pseudo-defence system for anything that comes our way. We need to be bored and not have anything to use to shield the boredom away from us. We need to be lonely and see what it is we really feel when we are. If we continue to distract ourselves so we never have to face the realities in front of us, when the time comes and you are faced with something bigger than what your phone, food, or friends can fix, you will be in big trouble.” ~Evan Sutter,
Technology can help you connect with more people, but it can also create a lot of stress.
And that type of tech-based stress can affect your health and relationships. Becoming dependant on technology can be an addiction. For a lot of people, it’s hard to turn off your phone or stop checking messages, which adds even more stress.
In this fast-paced world, using tech is often a must. But what can you do to stop the stress that comes from it?
5 Steps to Reduce Tech-Based Stress
1. Notice the issues. The first step is to realize how much you depend on technology and determine exactly what is causing the stress. Pay attention to your stress triggers when you’re using technology. Do you get antsy when you hear your phone buzz with notifications? Is social media creating a fear of missing out? Do you feel like you have to respond immediately to texts, calls, or emails?
Solution: Track how much technology you use for one week. Keep a journal with this information. Also, write down how you feel after each interaction with a piece of technology. Does it make you feel stressed, frustrated, sad, or annoyed, irritated, etc.?
2. Make a list of your tech tools. Once you’ve realized that tech stress is an issue, making a list of all the tools you use can help you regain control.
Solution: Write down every piece of technology you use, including fitness watches and other tracking tools. It’s important for the list to be accurate and complete.
Next, write down how each piece of technology affects you in a positive or negative way. Make a note of the amount of stress each device creates in your life. You may use several tools and devices for work. Highlight the ones that you can’t live without and cross off the devices on the list that are not essential.
3. Clean up your connections. Go through all of your social media accounts and inboxes to disconnect with people who create additional stress.
Solution: Try to keep a smaller list of close contacts such as friends, co-workers, and family.
Turn off notifications and get rid of unnecessary subscriptions.
Clean out your email inboxes and eliminate old messages or contacts that are not needed.
Consider setting up automated apps that can sort emails and delete them faster.
4. Make a plan. Use your list to focus only on the devices and tools that are essential.
Solution: Have a plan each time you turn on a computer or phone. What do you want to accomplish, and how long will you need to do it? Try to avoid distractions by planning your time.
Turn off and put away any devices that aren’t essential.
Include time away from technology, such as a weekend without tech or TV, sorta like a tech fast!
5. Create reasonable expectations. If you’re addicted to checking your messages every hour, it will take more time to reduce tech-based stress. It’s important to have realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure to change fast.
Solution: Give yourself the chance to work through each of these steps.
Inform your family and friends about your technology changes. They need to understand you’ll be available less on social media. They also need to respect that you’re turning off some notifications to reduce stress.
Set up vacation or away messages on your phone and email so others will know when they can reach you. Create specific windows of time to return calls or messages.
Over to you
With all the other things in our lives that can cause stress, the addition of technology can be detrimental. Start by paying attention to how technology affects you. You don’t know until you take a hard look at your feelings and your usage. It may be necessary to evaluate how much you depend on tech tools and make some changes in your daily routines to reduce your tech-based stress.
Have you noticed some technology stress in your life? How are you dealing with it?
If you need additional help or resources related to reducing technology stress, check out these 9 simple steps to overcome information addictions.