All of us have at least one gadget that we use on a daily minute-to-minute basis. Some of us have more than one. These devices serve multiple roles in our lives- entertainers, distractors, safe spaces, reminders at the bare minimum. They are also our connectors to our social circle, informing us about what is happening around us, an encyclopedia of sorts about our world. To be fair to them, they are not all bad. I have discovered so many of my current interests and hobbies because of my gadgets, I have learned more about my field and profession through the mediums they provided.
Why then is there so much hue and cry about using them?
To start with, our brains and bodies are not built to stare at a lit screen for hours on end. We are built to move, think and work. Gadgets take this away from us sometimes. Why be creative with our time, hands, and minds when we can just watch Netflix right? Swiping and tapping a screen just isn’t the same as actually making and creating something.
As much as they connect us, gadgets are by no means a replacement for basic human connection. We need to meet and see people. For many of us, social media becomes a replacement for real human interaction.
So how do we balance this out? We need gadgets. They have helped us in so many many ways but they also do take over our lives and deprive us of what we need.
- Look up from our screens: The first thing to do is to look up from our screens and look at the world around us. Notice the people in our lives. Notice our surroundings, the house we live in, and what is outside our house. This can be practiced in small ways- a walk without our phone, a drive with our phone packed in a bag, dinner conversations, cooking, solving a jigsaw puzzle, art, etc
- Choose to be gadget-free before bed: Allow yourself to go without your gadgets at least 15 mins before bed. Use that time to catch up with your family or journal or note down your tasks for the next day.
- Carve out time for friends and family: With everything opening up, we have more than enough opportunities to meet up with our family and friends. Plan out an outing with a family member or a friend. Choose to remain in that moment and enjoy yourself.
While we acknowledge the usefulness of our gadgets in our lives, we also need to be aware of their impact on us and the steps we need to take to control their effect on our lives.
If you feel the need to talk to someone, do reach out to your counselors. To reach out to the counselors at CMRNPS, you can use this link below. Please select the option ‘student wellness’: