Smart phones, online gaming, text messages, social networks and the Internet provide information and entertainment instantly. But studies show that continuously being plugged in can cause compulsive behavior. Warning signs of technology addiction include: constant thoughts of wanting to use the technology; withdrawal feelings; and euphoric feelings when reconnected. A University of Maryland study showed students are addicted to social media.
So when is it enough? Here’s how to keep your tech time tolerable:
- Leave your work at work: Some employees feel pressured to stay connected 24/7, especially if given cell phones or laptops by their employers. Weigh the cost of climbing the corporate ladder versus the personal pleasures you’ll find offline.
- Turn it off: Phones and computers only work if they’re turned on. Hit the power button, and don’t look back.
- Ban technology from the bedroom: It’s tempting, but that last email check could cost you a good night’s sleep.
- Set reasonable limits: Decide how much time is healthy to spend on your tech habit — for example, 30 minutes to an hour each night. Then stick to it.