Everyday use of Modern Technology, Mindfulness and ‘switching off’

– Words By Sonal Shah

 

Years ago, communication was limited to using landlines, fax and phone boxes, a simple and straightforward, near fool proof way of getting in touch with people.

Today of course is a different story and do not get me wrong as I love the use of Technology. Like most people, I regularly use apps to keep in touch with friends and family, a quick QA on private Facebook group with professional women, pay bills from my mobile on the go, check restaurant menu online prior to booking, online shopping and sharing so much interesting information with the world through a quick tweet.

However, there are times from all the compliance about Tech and communication that I feel we are never truly switched off, and therefore are we mindful on every task we are doing.

technology

My mind boggles as I cannot imagine how we used to study, go to work or get things done in our pre-internet days!

The recent Ofcom Report a comprehensive study on Digital Dependency says “78% of people in the UK now own a smartphone”.  When I think of always being ‘switched on’, people in the UK check their smartphones on average every 12 minutes of the waking day so perhaps we never truly switch off.  We have an ‘app on tap’ to aid just about anything we might want to achieve in our daily lives.

With the use of Tech comes some embarrassing problems too.

A colleague at work I gave my mobile number to during tight deadlines and many late nights of work, sent a text to me one evening “hey babe, what time are we going for dinner?”, which is odd as we never ate together – thankfully it was only that which was written on the message.  Of course, this message was not intended for me!  This shows how easily you can land yourself in trouble if you are not careful or mindful on the click of a button.

technology

Tech has opened up amazing new avenues for everyone, we should always be mindful and check before pressing send – never drink and hit send!

Do we play it smart when using technology and not allow our human interaction to slip in standards, due to the rise in our being ‘switched on’? Are we mindful and completely engaged with what we do and keeping human interaction aspects intact?

  • Walk mindfully use all five senses – numerous times while driving someone wearing earplugs is walking across a road that am turning into without looking while they appear oblivious to a car coming.
  • Eat mindfully – taste food – all are guilty of eating at the desk at work for a quick lunch to get back to those important emails.
  • Keep the phone away to really ‘listen’ and take in the valued time while spending time with family and friends.
  • Meditate – this helps us concentrate, focus and with small habit changes such as no looking at the phone an hour before bed allows better sleep to feel energised.
  • The morning commute – how many times on a tube do we actually acknowledge someone nearby or converse and not continuously stare at the mobile phone.

All are known and small simple habit changes to perhaps help us become more ‘mindful’, increase our focus and not forget our simple human interactions and – how pleasant it can be.