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How Can I Manage Technology and Content Overload?

Rich Fernandez






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How Can I Manage Technology and Content Overload?

Rich helps us navigate technology overload and create moments of renewal to reset your mental state.

Hi, it's Rich here.

I've been asked to answer the

question on how can I manage

technology and content overload?

Ah, so this is a tough one in

our technology driven world.

It's also really tough because the tech we

use is designed to capture our attention.

I definitely feel it as well.

You could probably relate to this.

It's almost like there is a literal pull

to get onto the screen and to engage.

So I want to share five, perhaps,

quick tips that may be useful.

And I'll just share them with

you here at the outset, and then

talk about them more in depth.

But the first is to really selectively

switch off your notifications because

notifications can be extremely disruptive.

The second is to unfollow accounts

that don't make you feel so good.

Social media is the great comparison

engine where we compare ourselves

to the ideal lives that are created

or fabricated on social media.

So I would encourage you to just unfollow

accounts that don't make you feel so good.

The third is to establish tech free

zones, even for limited amounts of time.

For example, in our house, it's

really important that we have

dinner together without devices.

So creating a tech free zone

around the dinner table or

around meals can be very useful.

The fourth is to do an activity

every day without your phone.

Be very intentional about this activity.

It's an activity without a screen.

Take a walk, eat lunch, catch

up with a friend or a child or a

partner, write in your journal.

Lots of analog choices to choose from.

And then the final one is, once in a

while, see what it would be like to take

a digital detox, a pause from using any

digital devices, even for short periods.

And if you're able, for longer periods

of time, every once in a while.

For me, I do that twice a year

where I go on silent meditation

retreats which are device-free.

So now that I've shared a few tips

with you, I want to provide a little

bit more context than additional

thoughts relating to those tips.

First I'd invite you to

consider our ancestors.

They used to be mainly

involved in physical labor.

And when they finished their work, they

would cook their meals, sit around a

campfire or a hearth, eat dinner with

their families, share stories, and

do a whole bunch of other activities

that didn't involve technology,

or at least digital technology.

And of course our lives look

really different from that.

For most of us, our phones

double as our alarm, we wake

up to notifications and news.

Were stuck in back-to-back

meetings all day.

We come home and browse social

media, do online shopping

or watch streaming services.

So technology has infiltrated

every aspect of our life, and

digital technology in particular.

Of course, keep in mind that it's 100%

without a doubt that there are tremendous

benefits to these technologies as well.

Staying connected with family and

friends overseas, staying informed on

the latest news, getting work done.

These are just some examples.

You're listening to this very talk, thanks

to digital technology, and hopefully

it's beneficial and nourishing for you.

So tech can be really useful

and beneficial, of course.

But we also can become dependent on it.

And that's why I was offering some of

these tips for managing it skillfully.

If you're like me, sometimes you

check your phone, not because you

want to check your phone, but because

it's habitual or because you've

been prompted by a notification.

This is fine a few times a day.

But given the frequency, checking

the phone hundreds of times a day,

I know I do that on the regular.

And touching our phones a couple

of thousand times a day, that can

often lead to a state of distraction.

I can speak for myself.

The more I'm on my devices, the

more distracted I sometimes feel

at the end of the day, especially.

So our ability to maintain

attention also is atrophying.

And this has some serious consequences

to how productive and creative and

engaged we can sometimes be, not

only at work, but with each other.

It sometimes affects how we are able

to connect with family and loved ones

and friends around us in our physical

space, but also how we feel mentally.

There are days when I find myself and

my wife and my teenage son, all on our

separate devices, in our separate rooms.

And it doesn't feel great, I can tell you.

Although sometimes I really enjoy

watching sports or streaming on

my own without interruption, and

that's perfectly valid as well.

Really, it's about being intentional and

thoughtful about how you want to invite

use of these technologies in your life.

Consider social media, for example.

While we live in this hyper-connected

world with hundreds, if not thousands of

friends, loneliness rates have increased.

Social media is also skewing our

perception of reality because we

scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and

the like, and we're being exposed to

carefully crafted and fabricated lives.

Carefully curated, perfect portrayals

of other people's lives often

leaving us with a sense of inadequacy

or FOMO, fear of missing out.

This kind of idea that we have

to compare ourselves to these

perfect lives that we see online.

So how can we shift that balance?

And just to be clear, I'm not against

social media or the use of technology.

I actually think it is a great enabler.

But I do feel that we need to

reset our relationship with

our devices and technology.

And so incorporating some of these

simple micro habits can go a long way.

Again, it's the five that I mentioned.

So just to remind.

The first is to selectively

switch off your notifications.

Second is to unfollow accounts

that don't make you feel good.

The third is to establish tech-free zones.

The fourth is to do an activity

every day without your device.

And then the fifth is to consider

taking a digital detox once in awhile.

The last thing I'd say is that as

you try these different approaches

to working skillfully with

technology and with content overload,

really connect with how you feel

whenever you manage to go offline.

Make a mental note of the

benefits as you feel them.

Do you feel more rested?



I know I certainly do when I

sometimes step away from the device.

So I want to thank you for your

attention and for listening.

And I hope that you found this

useful to be able to work a little

bit more skillfully, even one

degree more skillfully and more

beneficially with your technology

and with the content in your life.

And again, as always, I want to remind

you to be patient with yourself, and

to be kind, and to offer yourself

some good thoughts for at least trying

to navigate this really complicated

world, chock full of technology

and content that we all inhabit.

So thanks again and have a great day.

Included in

Q&A on Work Performance null Playlist · 5 tracks

Q&A on Work Performance

Playlist · 5 tracks4.9

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