I love technology. I’m constantly on the computer, checking my favorite sites for the latest entertainment news or doing a little “window shopping.” I catch up on emails while I’m waiting to be seen at the doctor’s office. And I read books on my iPad that fits neatly into my purse and can travel with me. My gadgets are the best. And I realized just recently that I might rely on them a bit too much.
It happened when I took off for the gym one morning and accidentally left my cellphone at home. When I realized it, I panicked, thinking about what I’d do if my car broke down or there was some sort of emergency. That’s when I almost laughed at myself, since the gym is only two miles from home and there is no reason for my car to breakdown right now. But I realized that by accepting that I didn’t have access to my phone, I felt free.
So, I decided that I would make the effort to put the gadgets away every once in awhile. Since one of my favorite things to do is multi-task with at least two pieces of technology at once, I made a deal with myself that I would cut back. It turns out I should have thought of that a long time ago. Brain expert Dr. Sandy Chapman says our smartphones keep us permanently distracted, making us less able to absorb what we see, hear, and read. Not good. And a recent study from the Cleveland Clinic shows that people who use gadgets daily are more likely to forget things. I’m already forgetful as it is, and I realized this whole gadget-juggling thing isn’t doing me any favors.
I’d love to say that I now keep my phone at home when I go out at night, or that I don’t multi-task at all anymore, but I’d be lying. I have, however, trained myself to leave my phone at home every once in awhile when I run a quick errand, or hit the gym. And when I watch TV, I’ve put the laptop away. I figure that if I’m making the effort, then hopefully those actions will start to become a habit. And maybe I’ll start to be okay with doing one thing at a time.