Electronic Overload: Is it Time to Get Disconnected?

Whether you are in the coffee shop, on the bus, or in the park, there is no doubt that someone nearby is online. iPods, cell phones, PSPs, the Wii, video games, Pinterest, television, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have all become part of our daily lives. In fact, many of us consider ourselves “addicted” to these devices.

It’s difficult to put a specific time limit on how much is too much. I think most of us know when we are overdoing it. We get up and check our Facebook, yahoo, and GMAIL accounts. We turn on our cell phones while walking the dog in the morning. We take the bus and play games on our PSPs or I-Pods. We “follow” people throughout the day on Twitter. We come home and sit in front of the television or computer. We continue to check emails, cell phone calls, texts, and SKYPE. We play on Facebook and Pinterest. Basically, we are always connected.

Many of us believe it’s necessary to always be connected. We may be needed on vacation; we have to be accessible by phone and email. How will we be able to keep up with the daily happenings of our 714 friends on Facebook if we are not connected?  Following stars on Twitter is essential to our existence. We have to play on our blackberries so we don’t get bored.

You get the point. However, these are all falsities that have become norms. Being connected 24 hours a day is not necessary. It is likely doing you and everyone else more harm than good. So, the question arises, how much is too much?

To determine if you are spending too much time being connected, ask yourself the following questions. Am I physically active? Do I get enough sleep? Am I being mentally challenged? Am I hiding behind my computer saying things I normally would not? Is my being connected interfering with me getting other things done in my life (e.g., laundry, food shopping, etc.)?  Do I feel the constant need to be connected, check my email, my Facebook account, etc.? Do I mindlessly eat when playing or studying? Am I enjoying nature and the nice weather?

Simply by answering these few questions will help provide you with insight regarding your connectedness. Be honest with yourself. If you are too connected, it’s time to take action. The question then becomes how to get disconnected; tips will be forthcoming.

Juliana is a freelance writer and craft enthusiast.