All Is Not Well with Technology and Our Lives
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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Have you ever wondered what the similarity between Pablo and Zuckerberg? Both sell something that’s crazily addictive. Technology is extremely distracting and compelling. What one can do about it is consciously limit its usage as it deprives you of your focus, energy, and sleep.
Technologies occupy our lives for all 24 hours, this leaves very little time for family life, health care and development of Interpersonal Relations. Technology demands instant decisions and response which does not allow for careful thought and analysis. While tech has its vital role to play and we can’t function without it, believe it or not, all is not well with technology and our lives. To understand the psychology of entrepreneurs and executives, we spoke to some of them to get an idea of how they are trying to reduce the over-involvement of tech.
Safe Distance From Phone
How many of us reach out for our phones, the first thing in the morning? How about changing that bit of your life? Harsh Maheshwari- Chief Technology Consultant, SECCPL, has consciously adopted to not check his phone first thing in the morning.
“I make sure I check my phone only after I’ve had my morning tea. Secondly, I ensure that my phone is on silent mode when I’m going to sleep. Thirdly, I try not to check my phone when I’m in conversation with someone. It is very easy to get swayed by the online world and that leads to an unhealthy loss of connection in the real world. Next, I tend to limit my time on social media. I don’t scroll aimlessly as I find it a waste of time. Finally, I keep my close ones informed about my availability online so that there is no anxiety from their end and urgency to respond from mine,” he says.
Cost-benefit analysis of gadgets
While technology has made our lives easier and enormously enhanced our productivity, the constant barrage of information does affect our behaviour and attention. One needs to learn to control the digital overload to get the best out of it.
Husband and wife duo Nikhil Sikri, CEO & Sneha Choudry, CBO, who started Zolo, providers of fully managed co-living spaces follow some simple steps. “Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of gadgets and apps which you use regularly to track whether the time being spent on the item outweighs the benefits expected out of it. Optimise the time spent on each gadget by clubbing activities that can counter the ill-effects of a particular channel. For example, you can choose to watch Netflix, only when you are with your friends or family - thus clubbing a social activity with something.”
A Warning Signal
One of the best ways is to keep your phone away, listen and observe. Anusheel Nahar, Cofounder of ThingsCloud Technologies says, “I do not use any screen between certain hours of the day. I keep the phone in a corner so I don’t go all the way to just check up on anything which is not a priority. You see the warning image on a cigarette packet, I have a similar warning image on my wallpaper. This ring an alarm in my mind every single time I am on my phone. Also, Phones today come with a zen mode which tells how long you have been on your phone.”
Declutter & Get Rid
Technology apps are a quagmire of sorts. More you delve into new ones you get soaked in. Following some basics is Rajat Guha, Founder, Neev Communications. He declutters his phone regularly to get rid of unwanted apps. He also suggests, “Spending more time with family and incorporation of physical activities will naturally wean you off from tech addiction.”
Anything in excess has the potential to turn bad so how about we put a watch to it?
Harikrishnan Pillai, CEO & co-founder, TheSmallBigIdea said, “I have set reminders that pop up when I cross my desired screen time. It also measures my weekly screen time performance and reminds me of how I am doing. Switching off the data on the phone during work has turned out to be very productive. A lot of my OTT apps, social media apps are not on my handheld, but on an IPAD.”
What to do, is always the question. Mr. Yogesh Bhatia, CEO, PreLoved Devices gives us four tips that he follows, “Exit all unnecessary groups from Whatsapp. Increase person to person contact. To add on the most important point one needs to be in the quadrant of quality, which is important and not urgent, hence, here not so urgent activities are facebook, checking fun emails, time wasters, mindless tv shows, trivia, busy work which interrupts in achieving our goals faster. Write down our vows to use less technology by putting up a memo on a mirror where you can see it daily and be remind it.”
Technology is an enabler and acts as a source of information that helps expand my ideas and thoughts around the business. But social media is a quasi-distraction. It is a necessary evil, however, there have to be internal rules around how much time is spent on social media and the role of family during disconnecting times is the key for balance.
Prashant Parameswaran, CEO, and MD, Soulfull personal follows the five practices to shift gears between the virtual and the real world: Practice minimum 2 hours a day of technology detox, Rely on my memory more, Avoid starting your morning with a dose from social media, Pursue a hobby to indulge in digital-free ‘me-time’ and don’t miss out on having fun with your natural surroundings.
Can’t Say No To Tech?
When your works revolve around three things - Technology, technology, and technology, finding a balance can be tough. Taher Mandiwala, Co-founder and Technical Head, Hats-Off Digital Pvt Ltd can’t ignore technology but surely has his ways to minimalise it, “Once I step out of my office, I do not use my phone and my laptop at all back home unless it is extremely urgent. It gives me a chance to detoxify myself and ease the stress on my eyes as well, after a long day of hard work. We do take a break at work as well, take a break and mind off work and mobile phone usage, and play a good game of cricket, and have chat sessions or just order snacks and enjoy it with each other’s company.”
If there is a technology distraction in people’s life, then it is self- generated. An individual needs to change it on their own. Darshana Bhalla - CEO and Founder, DO IT Talent Ventures says “Keep regulated usage right since the beginning and engaged with outdoor activities and sports. Do not keep notifications for every application. Choose the right one. Do uninterrupted 7 hrs of sleep. Enjoy being with people (family, friends, colleagues) and make memories in your head.”
Draw a Line
One must exercise a fair amount of control to not let technology take over your existence completely. Parimal Shah, President International Operations, MK Jokai Group says, “Draw a line. Demarcate a few hours of your day where you will not indulge in technology and gadgets. Never take your mobile phones or other gadgets to bed. It is bound to interfere with the quality of your sleep. Put these things aside before going to bed.”
Having said, technology, with the pervasiveness that it has today, is a distraction. How you let it rule your life, is a call you have to make. And always remember what Albert Einstein said, “The human spirit must prevail over technology.”