Avoiding Tech Fatigue & Burnout in a Social Media Society
It was a little after 11PM and I decided to take a few minutes to sit in silence in my relining chair in the living room. Next to my chair is a fireplace stoop that houses a revolving stack of books and magazines. Despite having multiple subscriptions it has been awhile since I have picked up a magazine. I flipped it open to somewhere in the middle of the magazine and the article title read, “The Art of Stillness,” by Pico Iyer. How appropriate, I thought. As I sat and read through the article one observation in particular caught my attention, “Researchers in the field of interruption science have found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to recover from a phone call. Yet such interruptions come every 11 minutes on average, which means we are never caught up with our lives.” One does not have to be a scientist or Yogi instructor to know that this makes perfects sense. Our modern world with all of it’s technology and conveniences can be quick to burn us out, or as I think of it Tech Fatigue.
Examples of Tech Fatigue:
- Spending 45 Minutes looking for something to Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, DVR or Hula, but mostly Netflix.
- Going on Facebook only to find yourself feeling irritated by political/societal rants or starting/engaging political rants.
- Constant Media Bombardment: Radio Ads, Billboards, Cellphone Alerts, Email Blasts, Text messages, Phone Calls, TV commercials, Click Bait, More Text Messages, Facebook, Twitter Updates, Instagram, Snap Chap, etc.
Our smart phone follows us around wherever we go and we are constantly bombarded with streams of information. Thanks to a recent iPhone update, I can’t unlock my smartphone without seeing news sources, selected for me, streaming on my screen. To simply make a phone call I have to process streaming information. Never mind social media websites like Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chap, and Facebook. A quick peak at Facebook can easily lead to low grade irritation or a case of blahs. Sometimes it’s obvious, like a political tirade you disagree with (especially in the height of election season) or other times it may be sad news caught up in the midst of your feed; coexisting in with ads, and an endless stream up updates and life events. I remember a time when you could, “catch up on Facebook,” where you could scroll through and pick up where you last left off. I find more often then not, scrolling through Social Media leaves me feeling that tech fatigue. Another example being all around burnt out from the overwhelming information and data that is being thrust at me. That’s not to say that all social media should be avoided, but I have made a conscience effort to limit my participation. The first thing I did was delete any applications on my smart phone and android device. Any access would have to be done from my computer and not while sitting in the Drs. Office, or at a get together, or before going to bed. Guess What? The world kept on turning, the sun rose in the east and set in the west; and I felt a little bit happier, a little bit more still, and a little bit more energized. Without the constant distraction of technology there is more room for quality engaging conversations, quite time, and enjoying the process of everyday living. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or having tech fatigue, try creating boundaries for yourself. For Instance:
- Limit social media time, or avoid it all together
- Stay away from Social Media Sites or Websites that cause you irritation.
- Sit and have dinner at the table, keep electronics (cellphones, iPads, TVs) out of the room, or turned off.
- Limit time from outside influences (News Sources, TV, Radio)
- Take some time out of the day, everyday, for quite time; a 10 minute walk, an afternoon shower or bath, a quick game with the family (not Monopoly, that usually just ends with a flipped board and “Making it Rain”)
There is no particular formula, but if you feel yourself getting burnout stop to think about what activity your engaging in. Most likely there is away to reduce it, set a boundary, and become more efficient.
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