When is it time to shut down the smartphone, put the tablet in your desk drawer and shut the lid on your laptop? A newly released column in the New York Times suggests we could all benefit from the occasional tech break. The reason why? Observe your surroundings in any public place for about 30 seconds and you'll notice...Far too much tech – text messages, Tweets, Facebook postings, Angry Birds – may very well be distracting us so much that - beyond the obvious, oftentimes negative (and sometimes tragic) consequences of not paying attention to the here and now - we’re struggling to simply concentrate. When we can’t concentrate, productivity takes a nosedive.
Even the techies shut down
The answer, according to the Times: Yes, we need a break from technology. And the concept of a tech break has some unlikely supporters: high-use tech fans. As an illustration, the Times profiles a former Twitter employee who, while writing a book, found that he struggled to concentrate amid the constant ringing and beeping of his iPhone. So the author took the big step of ditching his tech. The result? His productivity, and creativity, dramatically improved.
This techie is far from alone. The author of the Times column shines a spotlight on himself. Today, when he and his buddies get together for dinner, they immediately toss their smartphones in the middle of the table. The first person who reaches for a phone is required to pay the price: That person covers the tab for dinner.
Is it time for you to have a break from your own technology? Ask yourself this: How often do you check Facebook each day? How much time do you spend reading and commenting on blogs? Can you go through a face-to-face conversation without glancing down at that incoming text message? Tech may very well be taking over your life. Take a rest and you will probably find plenty of real-world distractions that are just as interesting.