By Veronica Puailoa
A topic featured on the GoTo Blog this week is a theme that I’ve seen affect most people in a digitally connected world. How do I put some distance between my technology and myself when the idea of turning off my smartphone produces anxiety? In an age when you can instantly connect to people and ideas, disconnecting completely can be a little daunting. But it’s necessary, right?
The idea is that technology is the bad guy, and the only way to beat the incessant need to stay connected is to power down and detox from your technology and mobile device. In reality, the overabundance of connectivity is not such a black-and-white issue.
“Digital detoxes frame technology as bad … we need to move past to a more mature conversation about technology,” said Rohan Gunatillake, creator of the meditation app buddhify, during a panel at SXSW Interactive.
Instead of going cold turkey, consider being more mindful about why you are using technology and make a conscious effort to change your frequency of interaction. You don’t have to power down your smartphone, just alter the frequency that you check it. You are responsible for your own reaction times to technology pings.
Lauren Bacon, a tech entrepreneur and coach who lead the SXSW Interactive panel, also pointed out that what we need separation from is different for everybody. It could be work email, social networks or group texts, among other things.
According to Why Digital Detoxes Don’t Work – and What Does, “The insight here may seem simple, but it’s powerful too. Bacon said it best: ‘It’s about choosing to engage in technology rather than being a slave to it.’ If you feel like you’re a slave to your email or social networks, consider being a more mindful consumer of technology. Digital detoxes are a don’t. Purposeful participation is a do.”
Do you feel overwhelmed by technology? Write to us on twitter @citrix and @gotoassist to tell us how you deal with technology overload.