Let’s be honest here, we are in some way addicted to our technology. It’s not wrong to use them when you are working on something, but if you simply use them to pass time, then here’s where you need to take a pause and think. Are you using technology just to entertain or distract yourself? Surely you can use them to relax, but spending your whole day using them is not a good thing. It will not only impact your physical health but eventually your mental health as well. This is why it is important to use technology proactively so that you don’t end up wasting your precious time.
How technology keeps you Engaged
It’s not your fault totally that you can’t stop checking your smartphone. Technology is designed in such a way that it keeps its users hooked and makes their experience enjoyable. Otherwise, who would use technology if they don’t get something out of it?
Let’s look at some ways how technology keeps you engaged and occupies your time.
Encourages active participation
Earlier, even if we wanted to participate in certain events, we didn’t have the means to do so. But now we can say that this is not an issue anymore. Do you wish to be a part of any event? Use social media, and in no time the world becomes your audience. It is actually a good thing that you can make yourself available more as well as reach out to others. On the flip side, imagine if this goes out of hand, and suddenly you are addicted to the attention you get online. It will take most of your time, and you will have little time to do what really matters.
Technology is designed in such a way that it encourages active participation from its users. If you are not using them, then it will send you notifications and reminders to grab your attention. It will notify you about what your family and friends are up to, and that’s how it has your attention again. Also, there are forums on these online platforms, where 24×7 someone has something to say. You can easily find your topic of interest and scroll through their messages, only to realize in the end how hours have gone by doing nothing.
Creates necessity to share Information
We live in an information age. We have more information available to us than we ever did. But this also means that unnecessary information is being overshared. How often do you post updates about your whereabouts on social media? If you don’t do so, then how often do you check the updates of others? It is very common nowadays to post regularly on online platforms. In fact, technology like social media is designed to create a necessity to share updates.
This is not necessarily a bad thing if you know what you are posting instead of just copying others. People run businesses on these digital platforms, and they are doing well. They are able to engage their existing customers and acquire new customers by staying active on social media. If for some reason, people don’t get to post, they feel left out. This is what these social sites aim to make their users feel so that they keep coming back to them, while they can earn profits through selling advertising.
Did you know that technology like Facebook and Twitter use manipulation techniques on their users? This is exactly how our screen time has increased so much in just a couple of decades. Only in recent times, people are speaking out against them. What happens here is that companies hire a group of psychologists to understand the mindset of their users. Then, these insights are used to increase user engagement. And, these companies are only focusing on increasing their profits at the cost of their user’s time.
If you are wasting your time on free technology, just remember that you are the source of their income. They are providing you with services to keep you engaged and in turn use your time for making profits. We have persuasive technology as well, with which users can engage willingly or unwillingly. As long as you are engaging willingly, you can use this technology to develop good habits. On the other hand, if you end up engaging with this technology unwillingly, it raises ethical concerns.
Use technology Proactively
We cannot underestimate the importance of utilizing our time wisely. It helps us to get more things done and reduces our stress. Why not use technology for time management and increase our productivity? Technology has provided us with online alternatives that save a lot of our time. There is no need to wait in long queues in shopping malls and banks to get your work done, you can simply use online sites and applications for that. Similarly, technology offers you services that allow you to perform daily activities without spending a lot of your time.
You should be mindful of the time that you spend using technology. There’s no need to just keep refreshing your social feeds when you have got important tasks in hand to complete. You should also try to understand how your favorite sites or applications are keeping you engaged. Look at ways how you can cut down your screen time, and at the same time think about ways you can get the most out of it without investing more time. It won’t be easier at the start, but at least you should start becoming mindful of how you use technology.
We are not going to get more than 24 hours in a day no matter what. So, why waste the time we have using technology when we don’t need to. Choosing an extreme and avoiding technology is not a smart move, instead, just become more proactive. Don’t let technology steal your time, and use it to become more productive. You will be able to manage your time wisely and avoid distractions. Simply by controlling your screen time, you will be able to invest your time, energy, and efforts on important things. If it’s hard to believe, well then try it for yourself!