Managing our “busy” is a daily challenge for most of us, and how we approach it changes from day-to-day. Some days it feels like all the stars are aligned and we navigate through our day with seamless effort, right? Our calendars are synced to our phones, we get to our appointments on time, and our schedules are running according to plan. We are in sync. Our phones are “smart” and life is good.
Living in a high-tech world is the new normal. We’re able to access social media while on the go with no worries. We can receive all of our e-mails, glance at Facebook, and connect with anyone (anywhere) with a simple click, tweet, or “like.” But if things go awry and in the event that we lose Internet service, battery life, or even the actual phone, we stand to lose more than just a connection. We are likely to feel off kilter and out of control.
Sometimes the techy world becomes all too consuming and can overwhelm our lives. The foe rears its ugly head. Because we are virtually “available ” 24/7, it can invade our personal spaces. We can easily drown in the social media pool, sinking ever so slowly, without realizing that it is robbing us of our leisure time. In a recent blog, I shared my experience of “disconnecting” while on vacation, “The Rules of Disengagement: My Quest for the Ultimate Get-away Vacation.” Imposing a social media break was extremely elevating and eye-opening.
Technology makes our world both simple and complicated. Indeed, it is a double-edged sword. Some of us depend on the cell phone for just about everything, and highly regard it as an alternate brain. Hence, in the event that it’s lost or misplaced, it can be catastrophic. I can remember a time that a phone was just a phone, not our life GPS, computer, radio, TV, camera or bank.
Managing our busy with the help from our technology works perfectly…until it doesn’t. We are at its mercy. When our devices have glitches, we freak out.
I often think about how scary it is to be so dependent on technology that I have implemented certain practices to foster a little more self-sufficiency. I love having a smart phone, but I still want to feel smart and in control. Here’s what works for me.
- Back-up– I’m NOT talking about the obvious virtual back-up onto your pc or the cloud. (Besides, the computer can potentially have a meltdown when you need to access info in that moment) I’m referring to backing up my appointments on paper. I’m old school, and I love paper calendars. Although I might also sync my schedule with my phone, I refer to a wall calendar for my personal social life. I rely on my purse-size calendar to reflect my day-to-day and work schedule. I take comfort in having a physical hard copy and can edit, without worry of powering up or accidentally deleting (yes, I still use an old-fashioned pencil and erase). I feel in control.
- Memorize important phone #’s– The phone #’s of the most important people in my life have always been embedded in my memory. Granted, using the “speed dial” feature for key contacts is so easy, fast, and efficient, but how many of us can recall their numbers by memory? Ask yourself if you lost your phone, how would you recover the contacts?
- Write it down- I’m a huge advocate of writing everything down so having a physical hard copy of important phone #’s, vital documents, passwords, and personal info, is a comfortable habit for me. I store them in a secure location but it is always retrievable.
- Discriminate the data – Personally, I discriminate and limit what personal/private data I send to the cloud. I choose not to relinquish all control to multiple devices.
- Print and preserve photos- It’s super convenient to save photos to your phone and share them when you’re out socializing, but I still prefer having a physical space to capture my memories. I have always kept organized photo albums and still love turning a page and thumbing through the good times in a photo book, and sharing it together at a family gathering. I’m so grateful to have them. We can trace our lives through these photos. It is our timeline. They rekindle the memories and compel us to retell the stories. For me, scrolling through hundreds of images on a camera roll is not the same experience. But that’s just me.
So how about you? Have you completely succumbed to technology? Are you 100% in? Do tell.