Not many years after Apple totally remade the smartphone business, millions are now suffering from smartphone addiction.
A recent NY Times article identified the international technology company Atos as phasing out all emails among employees by the end of this year requiring workers to find other means to communicate.
Daimler Benz employees can have emails deleted automatically during vacations so as not to flood their inboxes upon return.
A nationwide Pew survey of 2,254 adults cited in the article found that 44% of cellphone owners had slept with their phones next to the bed and 67% admitted to checking their phone even if it was not ringing or vibrating.
I wouldn’t give up my smartphone and I don’t imagine you would either. But with small children now carrying phones and human discourse negatively impacted by distracted relationships, I’m interested in putting my digital device in its proper place.
- Turning off a smartphone actually helps people stay refreshed. There is no evidence that users who switch it off jeopardize their careers. In fact, it’s the reverse. Less overwhelmed, more refreshed.
- Just because we can work from anywhere at any time doesn’t mean it is an advantage to do so.
- Thinking and contemplating are two powerful career tools that are getting lost in digital addiction. Rediscover them.
- Establish digital hours. Build in downtime.
- Establish black out hours, you know, the kind that millions of people were forced to do when the Blackberry network goes down. Work went on although anxiety ran high.
As I have shared with you in the past, my USC students went nuts when I made them give up their cellphones for two days, but they also admitted to liking it.
When life becomes more hectic because of a great tool like a smartphone, take steps to balance your analog and digital life.
Don’t throw either away.
“Technology offers us a unique opportunity, though rarely welcome, to practice patience.” – Allan Lokos, Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living.