I know this is not a new phenomenon. Slowly over the past several years, Americans have started to use technology more and more as the technology has evolved further. We now have smart phones that people carry with them everywhere, supposedly making our lives easier. While it may be making it easier for us to get things done, I’m not convinced that it is enriching our lives.
Over the past several weeks I have been noticing how these smart phones are causing people to lose touch with the real world. Just while at an exercise class I noticed a 12 year old girl “attempting” to work out while really playing on her phone and then two younger girls glued to their own phones. I think what really did it for me though was while walking on the beach on Mother’s Day, I watched another mom push her child in a stroller and her eyes were glued to her phone. She was at the beach and instead of enjoying her child or the beach, she decided to be on her phone.
This technology has become so addictive that it takes us away from our other priorities. It consumes much of our day and we spend less time with friends, family, and doing things we used to enjoy. Although we feel more connected with our phones in the short run, in the long run it will only leave us feeling more disconnected to the world around us. I urge you to think about your use and how it affects your life. Try implementing rules for when use of technology is and is not acceptable. Make more of an effort to turn off the phone or computer and enjoy the outside world, whether that means going out with friends, enjoying your family, or reveling in nature. Whatever you choose to do, make sure some of your time is technology free! I’m sure down the road research will show that overuse of technology can be a detriment to our mental health, take steps now to prevent it!