/ Technology

Do you have a balanced technology diet?

Prehistoric man eating laptop

Apparently one in three of us have felt so overwhelmed by ‘communications technology’ – like texting, email and social networking – to the point that we feel the need to escape it. Ring any bells?

It certainly did for me. It also reminded me that we really don’t switch off very often these days, not helped by the fact that technology can be very addictive.

Commenter Christopher admitted to his tech addiction in reply to a previous Conversation:

‘I find myself up at night, not being able to sleep, with multiple windows open reading different articles and websites at the same time till two in the morning.

‘I think I may have a dependency on technology, but sometimes I can’t stand to be around my computer. I will not go near it all day because the screen either hurts my eyes or just annoys me.’

I myself can get a bit twitchy if I’m kept from my mobile or Facebook for too long. The funny thing is it does fade after a couple of days – the last time I went on holiday it took a while to get out of the habit, but then I couldn’t have cared less until I got back home.

And I must admit, going abroad helps, as keeping up your normal use is not only harder, it’s more expensive!

Technology and your family

According to the study, led by the University of Cambridge, the feeling is similar for adults and children alike. It found 38% of the 10–18 year olds it questioned claimed to have felt overwhelmed by communications technology.

I sometimes find it hard to grasp how much technology is ingrained in our lives from such a young age these days. It is worrying, and quite understandable, that young people are finding it too much to cope sometimes.

The research was sponsored by BT, which offers us its supposed solution to the problem – the ‘BT Balanced Communications Diet’. Sadly that name doesn’t sound very cool, but I appreciate what BT’s trying to do.

BT suggests thinking about how you and your family use technology. Tips such as setting a good example for your kids by not constantly checking your phone in front of them.

Do you have any good tips for making sure you and your family are in control of the technology you use in your daily lives, rather than it being in control of you?

Comments
Profile photo of dean
Member

Interesting article.

Not so long ago on here I stated that I unplug as much as I can every day. The reason is that I work on a computer all day and have just had enough when I get home.

The good thing though is that I CAN unplug because my technology allows me. I am not a member of Facebook, twitter or any other social networks so I will not be constantly bombarded with “Look at me, I’m so brilliant” messages and pop-ups.

I do use my phone too much though, but that is only because there are random times when it decides not to inform me that I have an incoming call or text, ensuring that I check it almost every 2 hours or so, that is really frustrating. But something I blame solely on Orange who put their own defect ridden software on every smartphone they sell with their network. Schoolboy error. Buy smartphones not locked to networks. Apples work so well because the big dumb pipes can’t get their grubby mitts on the software.

Personally, the main reason that I need to unplug is because this so called “new technology” is frequently riddled with faults. Faults where the buck is almost always passed from 1 tech supplier to the next. Many times, if you don’t understand how your device works, you will be at a disadvantage. As someone who has spent all his working life testing software, there is no excuse for it and it infuriates me more than anything, including traffic jams!

Member
Talia says:
6 July 2011

A survey after my own heart! The pressure from my friends and family to get on the smartphone bandwagon is ridiculous. They feel I am missing out because I don’t have one. I think they are the ones missing out. When I am socialising with a group of friends yet five of the seven are on their phones texting/Twittering/Facebooking, I say – who are you talking to – your friends are here, right in front of you! I hate the need to be “on” all the time and I find it very rude when I’m out in company and people are constantly tap, tap, tapping at their phones.

Member
pickle says:
7 July 2011

Being totally deaf I find my simple mobile, on text only, is sufficient for most of the time. I carry it and check for messages every few hours.
As for the computer – I keep away for most of the time and check for mails daily, Ocasionally calling at interesting sites and ordering items I need.
Apart from the TV I have no other technology and take care I’m not a slave to what I have.
I am apalled at reports of kids spending all day on gaming – have they no other interests? It’s far better to make and cultivate some friends….