Suggestions To Reduce Digital Overload

By Jheri Hardaway  (Staff Writer)

Let’s build about screen time and technology devices. Many of us are drowning in technology and it is not healthy. For all ages and walks of life, this is an important topic, and we should discuss the implications and ways out of our shared addiction. Spending too much time on the phone is detrimental to our mental health, thumb dexterity, and so much more. Like most things in life, technology is not all bad. Our phones and devices can be essential tools that open our world up to insights and empower us to stay connected. However, the good of the tech is overshadowed when we engage two long. Too much of a good thing can still be too much. We must have discipline and be intentional with our technology resources. We have to be disciplined. I have three techniques I employ to keep me from getting sucked into my phone too much. First, I wear a watch, second, I keep a book around, and third I keep my to-do list on paper. 

These tips will not work for everyone but if you can consider at least one recommendation it could be helpful and perhaps inspire more ideas for you. First and foremost, after much thought and research I’ve realized the majority of the time when I’m sucked into my phone, it begins by looking at the time. The time takes me to alerts, which takes me to email, then social media, then boom thirty minutes later I’m watching videos to teach me fancy ways to cut a strawberry. Time is essential and must be checked, but it should not distract us from our goals. Having a wrist watch allows me to stay focused and liberates me from the phone. My first recommendation is a watch. Not an Apple watch, not a smartwatch, I’m talking about a ticking and tocking wristwatch. Ice it out if you would like but give it a try! 

My next tip is to keep a book. One thing I’ve thought about in this internet age is that fact that everything on the internet was placed there. Think about that, do you want to know what you’re shown or would you rather gather knowledge from books written for the generations? We now have machine learning, which MIT Sloan defines as, “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” So if the insight online was placed, and machine learning is molded after the human behavior inputted, what resource is left for us to get information directly from other thinking human beings? Books! Reading physical books gives me the satisfaction of turning the page and plowing through texts. Finishing a book will always be an accomplishment. Books are also amazing conversation starters to engage with people in real life. You can talk with people about what you’ve read or share your books with friends or others who can benefit from the information. Lastly, books can be regifted, now you’re liberating someone else from their phone! Remember the public library? Books can be free as long as you return them on time! 

My most important tip for a lite phone lifestyle is to keep a journal or a book with your to-do list and reminders. I’m going to be honest, even with reminders on my phone, I forget things. But when I write things down, they stick! Something about putting pen to paper still takes precedence over digital communication. Think about it, thank you and birthday cards still matter. Take the time to find a notebook that suits you. Write things down and make them happen!

Technology is great. However, greatness comes with responsibility. Be careful, don’t let digital technology overwhelm you. If we don’t take the time to regulate ourselves against big tech who will. In the words of my sister Erykah Badu, “I can make you put your phone down.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *