Just yesterday there was this short article on LinkedIn about how tech is taking over our lives and the concept of work life balance is so yesterday !! I started reviewing drafts on my blog today morning and the first one I clicked on was an article that Krishnan had saved in 2017 – about Device Free Time. It introduced the concept of Tech Body Balance.
Linkedin article about Tech Devices and Work Life
Here is the link – Technology Diet. I am also posting the article using screenshots for those who wouldn’t want to click on the link :):).
Tech Body Balance
The article that Krishnan had saved in drafts is an Harvard Business Review article – Device-Free Time Is as Important as Work-Life Balance.
The important points from this 👆article are as follows –
A 2016 Deloitte Survey found that Americans collectively check their phone 8 billion times a DAY. Phew ! I shudder to think what that number will be for India with three times the population of the US and nearly every human body having access to a phone.
90% of us use the phone in the BATHROOM. Hmmm why ? Do we need videos to help us pee and sit on the pot ? I have a pet theory that the Indian style toilets where you have to squat ensure that one doesn’t gain weight because its uncomfortable to do a squat for 30 minutes 😁. Someone needs to do a study to understand the link between obesity and the Western commode.
The author decided to experiment on herself with three actions and the use of tech devices – sleeping, eating and moving. Sharing excerpts from her experiment below –
Sleeping – “….For me, this means mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter to tire out my eyes until I am ready for sleep. Sometimes, I’ll mindlessly scroll for as much as an hour. So one night, I decided to impose a time limit. I gave myself five minutes, and they went by in one second. At the end of them, I felt annoyed by my self-imposed discipline and wanted to keep scrolling, even as I realized I had not learned anything new or even been entertained by the activity.”
While Krishnan and I were in full time jobs, the blackberry’s slept right next to our pillows 🙄. We approved requests or sent emails as soon as we woke up or late into the night. Some sense prevailed finally and we started shutting off the phones and leaving them in the living room at least some nights. Once we quit our full time jobs, we continued to keep the phones inside a drawer in our bedroom.
Wrong thing to do !! As soon as we would wake up, we would look into our phones and try and catch up on news :(:(. For the past week or so, we have again started leaving our phones in the living room. It has definitely reduced our screen time.
Eating – “…..I tried to stop staring at screens while I was eating, but honestly, it was hard. I was not able to make this a regular habit due to pragmatic concerns like a busy day or not enough time to eat lunch. But I tried it on several occasions, and that in itself felt illuminating.”
We have a rule at home that while having tea or coffee and eating meals, we don’t look at our phones. But we still end up getting a call and then we feel like responding to it :(. During the summer months, the biggest challenge is watching TV while eating our meals because the kitchen doesn’t have air-conditioning. Hopefully we rectify that problem so that we can go back to eating on the dining table and keep our phones away.
Moving – “…To try out something more radical, even scary (as much as I am embarrassed to admit it), I decided to take a walk the other afternoon during the work day, and very deliberately left my phone behind.
……It was uncomfortable to take this walk, particularly as I did it during a day when I felt stressed and busy at work. But of course, the counterintuitive wisdom I hoped for did arrive: the break from the stressors of my phone and computer gave me a sense of spaciousness and freedom, even though there were distinct moments of panic and disorientation. At one point, I reached into my pocket and felt the cortisol rush as I genuinely thought I lost my phone.”
We have made it a point to walk around as we answer the phone. This habit started during the pandemic and has continued. The good thing is we at least get our steps done while taking a call !! Sitting and taking a call is even worse :(.
Tech Body Balance
Just as we need work life balance we also need a Tech Body Balance. We can’t live without the modern gadgets and our cellphones. But we also need digital detox and time away from phones to do things like we did earlier – face to face, non-virtual and with awareness.
The new mantra for the new age !!