Practice mindful usage of tech, social media with these techniques

To avoid the negative consequences caused by technology and widen its advantages, practice the mindful use of technology. Mindfulness means being conscious of your surroundings and completely immersing in the present.
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A recent study on the causes of global warming discovered that unread emails could be leaving carbon footprints.

Yes, you read that right.

Unread emails, like a lot of data, are stored in the cloud, which utilises considerable amounts of electricity—generated from fossil fuels in several regions. Thus, unread emails contribute to global warming.

Undoubtedly, technology is one of mankind's greatest inventions. From providing basic amenities and transport to practically inaccessible regions of the world to enabling remote work — technology has traversed every mile possible to make everyone’s life easier and more productive.

Over the ages, this invention has progressed to an extent where the current generation can be seen getting trapped within screen time ratio and algorithms.

The popular Netflix original series Black Mirror highlights many evils of technology.

However, a popular argument sprouts around technological abuse — when it has made life easier and contributed immensely towards overall global development, why is there a need to be cautious about its usage?

Everything is designed to extend screen time and generate revenue through that in the digital world — a major drawback to humanity since it has caused addiction among millions of users.

It’s also important to consider that the millennials or Gen-Zs, as they’re popularly called, haven’t seen much of a non-tech era. Additionally, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, most educational institutions were forced to shift to digital platforms to impart lessons, which also compelled children to inevitably depend on gadgets at a tender age.

Social media and mental health

While the development aspect is true, excessive usage of social media has led to constant lifestyle comparisons among users affecting their mental health.

Statistics show that endless scrolling results in poor mental health among users from different demographics. It also leads to the socially-induced concept called ‘Fear of Missing Out’ or FoMO.

Social media and digital content are designed to catch your attention and engage your time, and has inevitably led to an imbalance between productive and non-productive time spent on the Internet.

To avoid the negative consequences caused by technology and widen its advantages, practice the mindful use of technology. Mindfulness means being conscious of your surroundings and completely immersing in the present. 

Practising mindfulness is beneficial to individuals of all ages since it ensures cautious consumption of technology. Being mindful of technology usage rewards you in unexpected ways like extra time, a decluttered mindset, and more.

Here are a few ways to incorporate into your daily routine to practice mindful usage of technology.

DND

The ‘DND’ or ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode is a celebrated feature of smartphones. However, it is often ignored by many users.

The feature was introduced to use at night to not interrupt sleep and can also be used during the day to limit time spent on gadgets. It can help you focus on work, bumping up your daily productivity.

Take it slow and start with smaller goals. On the first day, use the DND mode for an hour and gradually increase the interval. By actively using this mode, you may grow more conscious about the amount of time spent scrolling, which could urge you to divert your energy to useful tasks.

Turn off notifications

Almost all applications in gadgets have push notifications, and there might be certain unavoidable notifications for professional and personal reasons. However, you can choose to turn off the others. Make sure to clean up your phone and get rid of unnecessary applications.

Disconnect when required

Phones were invented to assist you, not control your life. Putting your phone away while walking, taking the train, or when you are having a meal is one way of practising mindfulness.

By continuing this way, you’ll have the potential to stay more conscious of the events happening around you and of life occurring outside the virtual reality. This can contribute to improving your mental well-being. You can also implement it among your peer groups and encourage them to not use their phones while unwinding.

Use digital well-being applications

While technology has caused an imbalance in lifestyles, it also gave birth to many inventions to help tackle these problems and more. Various digital well-being applications are available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Moreover, some phones come with in-built digital wellbeing features and widgets, some full of little encouraging notes and statements to keep you motivated.

Rethink, remember, and reconsider

If you’re an active consumer of technology, you need to rethink and remind yourself of the actual purpose of technology.

Why are you a consumer in the first place? How does technology help you? Are you consuming technology or is it consuming you? Answer these questions and examine your daily activities. The real win comes when you have power over things you are associated with and benefit from them.

In this era, technology has become an inevitable part of our daily routine —beneficial and detrimental to us in many ways.

From getting tasks done seamlessly to influencing users negatively, technology has its equal share of positive and negative sides. Optimal usage of technology coupled with constant reminders of its actual purpose is the perfect solution to maintain mindful usage of technology.

Edited by Suman Singh

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