The Effects of Constant Connectivity

April 11th, 2012

Remember downtime? That was when you could take your dog on a stroll without needing to answer your cell phone. It was when you’d watch your child’s little league baseball game without also scanning your e-mail messages on your smartphone. And it was when you’d watch a film at home without also working on your expense report on your tablet computer. In this age of interconnectivity, downtime seems to be a thing of the past. The big question? Is this healthy?

Our devices have clearly made our lives simpler. We can get directions at the touch of a button. Find the closest restaurant in minutes and Google the answer to something with ease and speed.

But have you ever realized how infrequently we are alone with just our thoughts these days? Some social commentators have wondered if this increase in communication will negatively impact the philosophical side of our species. With no time and space to sit and ponder will we cease to do so?

That’s a big question, but there’s a much more important question for you to contemplate: Is your constant connectivity healthy? When should you unplug from your tablet, smartphone, and iPod?

Always being connected takes its toll, regardless of whether it’s for work or for play. The body needs time to rest, and not just when it’s asleep. If you find that you have trouble with being away from your phone, or have anxiety about not checking your mail, it could be time to switch off your devices.

If you discover, too, that your constant connectivity is hurting your relationships with friends, family members, or your spouse, it’s time to turn off the computer and put smartphone on silent. It can be all too easy to plug in and turn off. After all, making real human conversation is a more challenging task than surfing the Web or updating your Facebook page.

If you are one that always has their gadget in their hand, think about how your life may being effected by it. Try leaving it at home one day, or turning it off on the weekends. You may find that you’re a lot more laid back because your brain is not focusing on more then just being present.

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