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7 WARNING Signs You’re Addicted to Technology

7 WARNING Signs You’re Addicted to Technology

Wasted Hours:

Today, it is virtually impossible to live without the aid of some form of technology. This sad truth makes technology extremely difficult to escape; because work, school, and play can all involve computers, the sense of “normal” computer usage levels becomes more intense each year. In 2009, the average person aged 8-18 spent more than seven-and-a-half hours a day involved with non-school-related technology.# Continuing to increase your time spent on computer and internet activities is the first warning sign that you’re addicted to technology.

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    Ringxiety:

    Has it happened to you? You think you hear your phone ringing or even feel it vibrating in your pocket, but it isn’t. Phantom rings are the psychological equivalent of Pavlov’s dogs—who salivated at the ringing of a bell—and usually occur when you’re expecting an “important” call or text. This troubling side-effect stems from frequent, compulsive phone or social media checkups as well as never leaving your device far from arm’s reach. Try leaving your phone on silent (or even OFF!) for extended periods of time, especially when sleeping.

    Cravings:

    The word ‘addiction’ has become clichéd, but if you feel distressed, anxious, or painfully isolated when separated from technology, you may be suffering from withdrawal. Constant bright screens and instant-gratification games wire the brain to demand a certain level of stimulation, but what happens when the power goes out? Do you panic? Do you attempt fruitlessly to login to Facebook and update your status (if you have a “smart” phone, you can do it anyway, until the battery dies…)? Cravings are a definite sign that you are abusing technology, but luckily the large majority of people give up their own addictions.# Set aside time for alternative activities, pursuing your life goals, and obtaining real-world experience.

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    Multitasking:

    Using multiple forms of media at the same time—such as playing computer games while watching TV or browsing the internet while listening to music—is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression.# Researchers aren’t sure if multitasking causes depression and anxiety or if multitasking is a way for depressed or anxious people to distract themselves, but in the last decade, the amount of time spent multitasking with media increased 120 percent. Separate your devices; appreciate and focus on one thing at a time.

    You Don’t Know What You’re Missing:

    Technology addicts tend to lose confidence and interest in the real world, passively choosing the comfort and reassurance of a safer alternative (World of Warcraft, Facebook, Netflix). The lack of control (and a need for artificial control) consumes the meaning of family, friendships, and other pleasurable activities. Remember: TV shows, movies, and video games will always be there, but you, your friends, and your family will not.

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    Monitor Tan:

    If you’ve been binging on Battlestar Galactica or Elder Scrolls, the effects are obvious—especially in summer months. Paleness and mood variations due to lack of sunlight, as well as other physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, slouching, headaches, or carpal tunnel syndrome, are direct results of technology overuse.# If you experience a change in sleep patterns—i.e. becoming nocturnal—you risk disrupting your biological clock. Take a long look in the mirror and ask, “Is this who I want to be?”

    Relapse:

    Continuing a destructive behavior despite serious external or internal consequences (such as losing a job or continually feeling detached or depressed) is the final sign of technology addiction.# Feeling guilty, ashamed, or anxious as a result of your technology habits is a bittersweet sign that some part of you has come to a reckoning that a change must happen. Relapse is common to all addictions and should have no guilt or shame attached to it. If you’ve gotten this far, you are ready for the next step: freedom from your addiction.

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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