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March 18, 2010

Age of Technology

I have to admit, I have enjoyed the technology boom and even find myself intrigued with the latest and greatest gadget.  Even as I write this, my cell phone is sitting next to me and my e-mail is up and waiting to alert me of incoming mail.  Technology allows us to have access to information at our fingertips, allows people to telecommute, keeps us connected regardless of where we are and gives us a sense of increased productivity – or does it? …and it has also taken the human element out of communication.

The average American office worker sends or receives over 200 messages a day – voice mails, emails, faxes, text messages and other forms of communication.  Cell phones, pagers and handheld computers ensure that we are always plugged in and easily accessible.  These devices often advertise that they will increase productivity but instead, they often leave people feeling distracted, overworked and counterproductive.  Always being accessible and connected can leave you with the feeling of never having a moment to yourself.

Regardless of what your feelings are about technology, it’s here to stay.  Follow these tips to avoid feeling over-connected:

  1. Choose wisely – just because a new gadget enters the market, it doesn’t mean you need it.
  2. Set boundaries – learn to enjoy a few moments every day of not being connected or accessible.
  3. Let the phone ring – don’t assume just because the phone rings, you have to answer it. 
  4. Turn off your email alerts during your focus time.
  5. Don’t use email when in-person communication is more efficient.
  6. Set limits to the amount of time you’ll spend web surfing, checking face book, and checking email.

I’m setting my own technology boundaries and keeping what is most important in my life – my personal relationships – my top priority.  I hope you do the same.

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