You would think a species that lived thousands of years without technology, would be able to balance screen time with free time. But that's not necessarily the case. So for extreme technophiles who just can't seem to put the gadgets away, here are five helpful tips to avoid media burnout.
On the go
Remember when phones were strictly used to call another person? Perhaps in some cases it's better to go retro. "Maybe people should just get a going out phone that's a simple phone that just allows you to make telephone calls as opposed to being engaged," suggests technology expert Mark Evans. That way you're still accessible, but you won't feel the compulsion to check email or social media every five minutes.
Mind your manners
But for those who can't bear to part with their 24/7 online access, Evans recommends a little table etiquette when in the company of others. "Even when you're at a business meeting or you're out for a dinner with friends, everyone has their smart phones on the table. They're constantly checking their phones, texts or emails and it's like, what's so important?" Keep your apparatus in your bag, briefcase or jacket pocket, and rest assured the world will continue to rotate for the hour or two you're not plugged in.
"We don't have to be checking email every 15 minutes. You can check every hour or two. We should reward ourselves with social media time but we shouldn't feel the need to be on social media all day long," says Evans. Much like chocolate, or a luxurious long walk, try to envision your media consumption as a reward rather than a necessity. That way you avoid wasting hours that could be spent working or relaxing.
Stay in the moment
"Last summer I was in Ottawa for the Blues Fest and there was a person in front of me who essentially had a camera over her head, so I couldn't see the stage, and she was shooting pictures for the entire concert. And I was like, what are you doing this for? You're not really watching the concert," says Evans. One or two cellphone snaps are OK, but make an effort to stay in the moment and enjoy the live elements of a show, event or party. Rest assured there are plenty of other folks who will already be recording the proceedings for you
Stick to good news
Research shows that too much negative or violent imagery has an adverse effect on children, and that it can also harm adults to a lesser extent. We can't avoid reality, but for every upsetting bit of information you take in, try to counterbalance it with something warm and fuzzy. Adorable animal and baby videos can soothe almost any upset. To remember that the world is still a beautiful place, be sure to bookmark The Lighter Side for your daily dose of good news.
(Photo credit: CBC)