Technology is a wonderful thing. Being able to connect virtually with family, friends, and business 24/7 has many advantages.
Family: It allows us the freedom to “be there” for our children’s events because we can complete our work later – or even between innings, during time-outs, etc. We can Skype our families who live states – or even continents away – and see their face, their home, their backyard – which might be the desert or the mountains – while ours is flat farmland, or perhaps the river bank. We can watch a two-year-old learn to roller blade, or Susie hit home run – even though miles and miles separate us.
Friends: Technology enables us to stay more connected with the faces of our past – to share a quick tidbit of info from the moment at hand. It helps us plan events quickly – whether virtual or real life. We have multitudes of friends who are a rock instant support when tragedy strikes or celebrate with us in those moments of joy.
Business: Technology has created a global world. We have access to virtually any information at any time of day. We can manage our financing, complete sales and purchases, or close a business deal, etc. far outside the nine-five window. Help is always at our fingertips.
But, before you fall too deeply in love with all your devices, let’s consider the negatives.
• Excessive digital connections can deprive our brains of need downtime.
• Dependence on the flow of virtual information inspires lazy brains and loss of memory while inhibiting our ability to focus.
• Addiction to the constant connection can create high levels of anxiety.
• Continual interaction with virtual connections can hinder our actual face-to-face social, and even business, connections.
• Keeping your vision locked on your device prevents you from appreciating and enjoying the richness of the world around you.
• Constant connection encourages multi-tasking, which is a nice word for a negative situation. The truth is, supposed multi-taskers get less done than those who focus on one task at a time. And those one-taskers tend to do a better job.
• Studies have shown that the mega hours a day, which young minds are spending attached to their iPads, smartphones, computers, and gaming consoles are in fact, damaging their brains.
The point here is not to dump on technology. We embrace technology – it makes our professional, and personal worlds run smoother and better. Each new device or app that creates freedom and ease in our daily operations is exciting.
We are simply suggesting that even the techiest among us need to push the pause button occasionally.
• Communicate by looking someone in the eye, across the table.
• Take a walk with a friend or family member and leave your cell in your pocket – or the car – while you converse in real conversation.
• Instead of researching 1001 topics online, choose one and actively learn it – putting it to practical use in your life. For example, instead of reading twenty articles about biking, read five, buy a bicycle, and ride the trails.
• Take a walk at noon – without your device – and look people in the eye, smile at strangers, appreciate the scenery.
Larry Rosen, California State University, psychology professor, says that while technology has helped us to connect, it doesn’t provide the kind of human interaction that is so essential to our emotional health. “For instance,” says Professor Rosen, “In one study we found that while empathy can be dispensed in the virtual world, it is only one-sixth as effective in making the recipient feel socially supported compared with empathy proffered in the real world. A hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji.”
We need to examine our technology use to ensure that it isn’t getting in the way of our being sociable and getting the emotional support we need from the people who are closest to us.
As one mother told her son, “When we pause our technology for face to face time, we are giving each other the gift of relationship – of true human interaction – a precious treasure.”
In summary, the staff at Springborn thoroughly appreciates technology – and all it means to our professional and personal world. We also encourage all our candidates, employees, and clients to use the pause button and enjoy each other. Have a comment? Please share it with us on Facebook – after you “paused”, of course!
At Springborn Staffing, we are passionate about matching great companies in Portland and Bangor, Maine, with talented candidates and helping them come together seamlessly and successfully in mutually beneficial connections. Contact us today.