Unplug & Reconnect-Health Topic via Health & Safety Newsletter

Human beings connect with each other on many different levels. A UCLA study found that 55% of communication is through body language, 38% through vocal tone, pitch and emphasis, and only 7% through the actual content of the message.

Texting & emails do not accurately convey, tone, emotion, facial expression, gestures, body language, eye contact, oral speech, or face-to-face conversation, it is likely messages will be misinterpreted or misunderstood and the real meaning of the message is lost.

Most miscommunication could be easily cleared up with a simple call. Instead we handle it with more texts that often turn passive/aggressive and just plain sassy; creating frustration and hard feelings. Lord knows I’m not anti-Texting. It has its place. A quick hello, simple banter, or logistical purposes are usually safe. Anything that has to do with interpretation or feelings should probably be face to face whenever possible to limit the possible collateral damage.
Smart phone and gaming addiction does not meet the criteria for a DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) psychiatric diagnosis.

However, the wide spread use of technology is a well-studied phenomenon where people’s dependency and their attachments to their digital devices are interfering with daily activities and wreaking havoc with family/social lives. It is believed to be like gambling, shopping or video game addiction. It is real; and leads to severe impairment or distress in one’s life.

Society has changed us with the mass spread of technology; we can’t escape it! We demand instant responses and results and get our noses right out of joint if the reply is not instant. Technology has allowed us to create alternate worlds with warped personalities; inflict harm by masking our true identities and impeded personal relations. It also builds barriers between generations.

Do you fit the criteria of having a technical addiction?

Defined as tolerance, increased use, failed attempts to cut back, lack of recognition of time, physical symptoms such as: text neck, dry eyes or eye strain, sore back, shoulder or thumbs?

  • 1. I reach for my cell phone first thing in the am. – Salience
  • a. 68% of adults sleep with their cell phone next to their beds.
  • 2. I use my cell phone when I’m bored. Euphoria
  • a. That little ping of excitement you get when you hear a message is received provides a highly addictive high.
  • 3. I spend an increasing amount of time on my cell phone. –Tolerance
  • a. Try putting people first, technology second
  • 4. I develop some anxiety when my phone is out of sight- Withdrawal
  • a. 79% of adults have an irrational fear of losing their phone; do you?
  • 5. People have complained that I’m on my phone too much?
  • a. Ask you kids or partner; listen to their answer.
  • Tips to Reconnect

    • • Establish Mandatory No E Zones (bedroom, meals etc.)
    • Set Timers for tech usage
    • • Get active
    • • Go outside
    • • Physically reconnect with a friend
    • • Visit Grandma
    • • Check out your city’s “things to do”
    • • Play a board Game