How to Keep Technology from Controlling Your Life

Ironically, this article, written on a computer for viewing on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, is all about creating more balance to keep technology from controlling your life. Without argument, technology has become an integral part of our lives. We use it for work, entertainment, and communication. In the past decades, we’ve moved from endless channel surfing on television to doom scrolling on the phone we carry around all day.

From smartphones to social media, we are constantly surrounded by screens and devices that have the power to shape our emotions and behaviors. While technology offers numerous benefits and conveniences, it also comes with its own challenges, including the potential to control our emotions and consume our lives if not appropriately managed. The good news is there are practical strategies for maintaining a healthy balance between the use of technology and a healthy mindset.

The Downside of Technology Consumption

The pervasive use of technology can harm our emotional well-being and overall quality of life. How many of these do you experience in your daily life?

1. Doomscrolling and Information Overload: With the constant influx of online news and information, many people fall into the trap of doomscrolling – endlessly scrolling through negative news stories and social media feeds. In 2023, people spent an estimated average of 2 and a half hours per day on social media. This behavior can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm–plus, it is often a waste of time we could use for something much more purposeful.

2. Comparison and FOMO: All this time on social media leads us to this next set of issues. Social media platforms often present curated versions of people’s lives, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem as individuals compare themselves to others. This phenomenon, known as “social comparison,” can contribute to a pervasive fear of missing out (FOMO) and a constant need for validation.

3. Distraction and Procrastination: Part of leading a purpose-driven life is feeling fulfilled by accomplishing important things that align with our values. Instead of leading us to those goals, technology provides endless opportunities for distraction, whether it’s through social media, online games, or streaming services. This can lead to procrastination, decreased productivity, and a sense of dissatisfaction with one’s accomplishments.

4. Isolation and Disconnection: While technology has made it easier to connect with others virtually, it can also lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from real-world relationships. Excessive screen time can replace face-to-face interactions, leading to decreased social skills and loneliness.

5. Sleep Disruption: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt our circadian rhythms and interfere with sleep patterns. Whether it’s television, a computer monitor, or our smartphones, excessive screen time before bedtime has been linked to difficulty falling asleep, poorer sleep quality, and increased fatigue during the day.

Strategies for Maintaining Balance and Keeping Technology from Controlling Your Life

While technology can certainly impact our emotions and behaviors, it can be used mindfully and in ways that enhance our lives rather than control them. Here are some strategies for keeping technology in check and maintaining a happy, healthy, and purposeful life:

1. Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries around your technology use, such as designated screen-free times or zones in your home. Create a daily schedule that includes time for work, leisure, and offline activities to prevent technology from encroaching on other areas of your life.

2. Practice Digital Detoxes: Periodically disconnect from technology altogether by taking digital detoxes or “unplugging” for a day, weekend, or longer. Use this time to engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit, such as spending time outdoors, reading, or practicing mindfulness.

3. Limit Social Media Use: Be mindful of your time on social media and limit your use to specific times of day or certain platforms. Unfollow accounts that trigger negative emotions or comparisons, and curate your feed to prioritize content that uplifts and inspires you.

4. Practice Mindful Consumption: Approach technology consumption with awareness and intentionality. Before reaching for your phone or opening an app, ask yourself why you’re using it and whether it aligns with your values and goals. Practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation to stay present and centered in the moment.

5. Engage in Offline Activities: Make time for offline activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or volunteering in your community. Instead of reaching for your phone, walk or visit a park. Cultivate meaningful connections and experiences that nourish your soul and remind you of what truly matters.

6. Prioritize Sleep Hygiene: Create a bedtime routine that promotes restful sleep and reduces screen time before bed. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime and engage in relaxing activities such as reading or warm baths. Invest in blue light-blocking glasses or use nighttime settings on your devices to minimize sleep disruption.

7. Seek Support When Needed: If you struggle to maintain balance with technology or are experiencing negative emotions due to its use, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals. They can offer guidance, encouragement, and resources to help you navigate the challenges of modern technology.

Discover your fullest potential with Earth and Soul Adventures.

You’re not alone if you are trying to keep technology from controlling your life. While it has the potential to control our emotions and consume our lives, it is ultimately up to us to maintain a healthy balance. By setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness, and prioritizing offline experiences, we can harness the benefits of technology while minimizing its negative impact on our well-being. These strategies are just a few we encourage our clients to use to shift their mindsets and make positive changes in their lives.

At Earth and Soul Adventures, we help individuals discover their life’s purpose and shift their mindsets and behaviors to align with their values and goals. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime with like-minded peers to discover your fullest potential. What’s holding you back from living your best life?

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