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How Addicted Are You To Your Cell Phone?

How Addicted Are You To Your Cell Phone?

The cell phone, in all its forms, is ubiquitous. There is no arguing that. But what if you can’t put your phone down? What if your phone has become an extension of your hand, in which nothing you do can go undocumented by your phone? The constant looming light of your cell phone screen following you around, lighting up your face like a glow stick as you attend concerts, go hiking or have dinner with friends. Technology is great and has been a progressive and inspiring force around the world. But when is it too much, and how do you know if you have a problem? Addiction is real and here are 10 clear signs that you need to put down the phone, step away and go get some fresh air.

1. You take your phone to the bathroom. And use it.

Bathroom time used to be a private experience; now many opt to bring their entire social life right in there with them. They text, chat and share pictures on Facebook or Instagram. Some even take selfies while peeing, or staring at themselves in the mirror. Some say this selfie-obsession is introducing a new rampant form of narcissism. Japanese designers, Panasonic and Fujitsu, have created water-proof, break-proof cell phones that allow users to take a shower with it, so they don’t miss a beat. It’s also protected just in case you drop it in the toilet. If this is you, you may want to try stepping away from your phone when nature calls. Try changing your time in the bathroom to one where you concentrate on your physical needs instead of clinging to a cell phone. Many people feel obligated to be near their phones all day, for work or family needs. If you’re not an on-call emergency doctor or firefighter, you likely have some leeway in your schedule.

maturana via Flickr

    2. You are sleeping with your phone.

    If your cellphone is the first thing you greet when you awake and the last thing you see before you fall asleep, there’s a problem. Cognitive therapist Dr. Suzanne Phillips notes on her post for PBS that sleeping with a cell phone has negative effects on users. She writes that, ”Texting as an addiction jeopardizes sleep, cognitive functioning and real relating–making dependence on it greater and greater.” If you can’t imagine waking up or falling asleep without something to read or look at, try challenging this pattern by replacing your phone with a book or magazine. You could also write in a journal. If you are coupled, talking to your partner as you fall asleep will offer more comfort and help in building your connection with the one you love. If you need distraction but live alone, you may want to create a playlist with music by instrumentalists like Deuter.

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    cheap eats via flickr

      3. Your phone has a place at the dinner table.

      If your phone plays center stage at meal time, it’s time to put down the phone. Many of us can’t help photographing the food we are about to ingest and it’s okay, every now and again, especially, if you are a chef or tried and true foodie. But consistently choosing your phone over friends and family when eating is a sign of a potential cell phone addiction. When you feel the need to check in on your social network, send a gratuitous text, or merely stare at your phone while you chew, try instead engaging with the person you are dining with. If alone, enjoy being present with your meal; maybe do some people-watching, read a book, or connect with the servers or the chefs that prepared your meal.

      YourDon via Flickr

        4. You are texting while walking.

        This spells disaster. Keep the texting for non-moving times. You are running into people or standing in the middle of the sidewalk as you attend to your phone. You are taking selfies when you should be focusing on getting to your location safely. Just as you wouldn’t drive and text (hopefully!), you shouldn’t text and walk. If you need to, step off to the side. The media have shown unfortunate examples of people texting and walking, unaware of their surroundings. One young woman fell onto the New York City Subway tracks, and got hit!

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        Photo by Josh Liba via Flickr

          5. You are hanging out with friends, and you are all busy with your phones.

          If hanging out consists of you and your friends sitting in the same room while you play on your cell phones, you are not really building a connection with your friends. The phone might not be huge, but it acts as a very big barrier, stealing your attention from the present moment.

          via news61.com date-annoy-annoying-uniterested-woman-man-fight-cell-phone-phone-busy-unattentive-not-paying-attention-woman-2v1cka5tzamcr9pveuqtxc

            6. You no longer apologize for checking your phone when you are out with someone.

            Sure, cell phones have allowed people to keep in touch and make plans with friends, but they have also transformed the dating scene, with many preferring to casually “hang out” and text, instead of creating a real relationship with another. In fact, it’s not entirely common to go on a date and sit in silence as your date fiddles with his phone, or both parties are busy chatting and texting with another person. And not even an apology is given. It’s rude, tacky and immature. If you are out with someone, particularly a potential lover, it’s important to take a break from your phone and get to know the person in front of you. If you’d rather be chatting with someone else, you shouldn’t be out on a date, nor do you deserve to be. Try challenging this bad habit with finding common ground, discussing interests, and engaging your date with intriguing questions or thoughts–minus the phone. You don’t need to text, Yelp, Instagram, Facebook or Tweet every movement, food particle eaten or sarcastic quip. Save the restaurant review until after your date.

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            wheres_my_cellphone via dialanerd.com

              7. If you forget your phone, you have a mini panic attack.

              This Disconnection Anxiety may seem exaggerated, but it’s very real to the person experiencing it. Studies have noted that most people are within three to five feet of their cell phones at any given time. The mere thought of not having it close by is enough to make some go off the deep end and into full-on rage mode. If your palms sweat, you feel anxious, nervous, agitated or in a hurry to get home, because you are without your phone for a few hours, you need to think about the affect the cellphone has on you and the power you’ve given it. You deserve an afternoon, or two, off. Enjoy a hearty meal, a walk in the park, time playing with your dog, seeing a film, talking with your neighbor or checking out books from the local library in place of your obsessive cell phone usage. If you find that you can’t quit your phone, for even a short while, consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist who can help you make sense of and put into perspective this intense urgency to be connected every waking moment.

              via Washington Times teens_s640x427

                8. Your phone has become a status symbol, that you regularly flaunt.

                Having a cell phone can get costly. Between downloading apps, music, monthly fees, and even texts, they can cost hundreds of dollars each month. Some phones are even going for $15,000, before monthly fees and other charges. Cell phones have become our modern era’s status symbol. If you not only obsessively use your phone, but use it to show your status in society, or if your phone has become a symbol of your personal worth, it’s time to adjust your idea of self-worth and importance. Remove the focus from the phone and back onto the things that truly matter, like the quality of your life and those you care for.

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                larrison via flickr

                  9. You are out in nature, checking your phone.

                  Hiking on a beautiful day, playing sports, enjoying a visit to a natural habitat, or time spent in nature demands your full attention. It’s not time to check your cell phone or show off what you’re doing, but take in the experience. This funny and introspective video by YouTube user Charlene deGuzman offers an outside perspective into how your cellphone addiction affects not only you, but also those around you.

                  large_4794889717 lordjim via flickr

                    10. You are texting and driving.

                    This is the most dangerous and troubling sign of an unhealthy relationship with your cell phone. Driving requires your focus for road safety. If you need to text or make a call, pull your car over and do so, when you are not in motion. If it’s not an emergency, it can wait. Many states and countries around the world heavily ticket drivers using their cell phones while driving, which means you’ll pay a big price for a single text. It’s not worth the risk to your well-being or wallet. For news on European, Australian and New Zealand distracted driving  laws, see their respective links.

                    Featured photo credit: PKMousie via flickr.com

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                    Published on November 9, 2018

                    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                    Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                    Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                    So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                    6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                    When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                    1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                    Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                    To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                    In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                    • Microsoft Excel
                    • Microsoft Access
                    • Statistics
                    • Data Analytics
                    • Adobe Campaign
                    • Quickbooks
                    • XML Database management system
                    • Filemaker Pro
                    • MATLAB
                    • Hive
                    • FORTRAN
                    • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                    • SAS

                    2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                    Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                    Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                    • Content Management System (CMS)
                    • Google Analytics
                    • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                    • Email Marketing
                    • Web Page Design
                    • WordPress
                    • Digital Media
                    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                    • Campaign Management Software

                    3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                    A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                    • Adobe Photoshop
                    • Adobe InDesign
                    • Adobe Illustrator
                    • AutoCAD
                    • CorelDRAW
                    • Microsoft Visual Studio
                    • Maya
                    • Microsoft Word
                    • Microsoft Publisher
                    • Operating Digital Cameras

                    4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                    The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                    To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                    • HTML
                    • C/C++
                    • Java
                    • Python
                    • XML
                    • UI/UX
                    • LINUX
                    • CISC and RISC architecture
                    • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                    • Memory Management
                    • PCB Layout
                    • SQL

                    5. IT Troubleshooting

                    Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                    So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                    • Backup management
                    • Diagnostics
                    • End User support
                    • Client-Server management
                    • Installation and configuration
                    • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                    • System administration
                    • Tech support

                    6. Enterprise Systems

                    Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                    Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                    The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                    Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                    Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                    Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                    1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                    a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                    Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                    Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                    b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                    This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                    c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                    Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                    Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                    2. Rule the Social Media World

                    a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                    Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                    From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                    b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                    This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                    c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                    Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                    Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                    3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                    a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                    From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                    b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                    Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                    The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                    c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                    The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                    4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                    a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                    It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                    From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                    b. Canva Design School

                    From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                    c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                    62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                    d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                    The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                    Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                    5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                    a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                    IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                    It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                    b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                    The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                    Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                    The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                    • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                    • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                    • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                    • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                    • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                    • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                    • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                    Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                    Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                    1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                    It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                    Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                    2. Work on Your Efficiency

                    Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                    For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                    3. Look for Shortcuts

                    Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                    4. Apply for an Internship

                    Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                    By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                    How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                    The Bottom Line

                    Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                    So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                    Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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