Friday, May 23, 2014

How to deal with technology overload?

This blog posting is in response to my Ethics and Issues questions for OIT 100 Introduction to Computer Information Systems

p. 9 How can People best cope with technology overload?

 What steps can people or society take to cope with technology overload? In an article by Take One Step: Wellness at Work some useful steps include setting boundaries on technology use, setting a schedule for checking email or text messages, making use of face to face interactions, and avoiding adding more features or applications than you really need on your devices. I thought these steps were the most helpful to guide people into a better relationship with ever present technology. However, I think in today's society boundaries are more often than not loosely defined if present and it makes it hard for people to make a decision to limit their technology use, even when it is for their own good.

How might one determine if he or she suffers from technology overload? I found some useful questions to ask oneself at The first question was do you feel preoccupied with the internet? Then it asked Do you feel the need to use the Internet for increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction? Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Internet/technology use? Do you feel restless, moody, depressed or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet/technology use? Do you stay online longer than you originally intend to when you log on? Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet/technology use? Have you lied to family members, a therapist or others to conceal the extent of your involvement with the Internet/technology use? Do you use the Internet/technology as a way to escape problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood (for example, feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression)? These questions created by Dr. Kimberly Young from the Center for Addiction Recovery would be very useful for a person to come to terms with their technology overload. I would be concerned however that a person who is overloaded wouldn't notice that these questions apply to his or her life. Sometimes an outside intervention is needed to help an overloaded individual see that his or her behavior isn't helping them lead a better life.

How can technology companies help to alleviate the problem of technology overload? In an article by Jonathan Fader, he discusses some key points that I think would help technology companies alleviate the problem of technology overload. Technology companies need to recognize and share with their users that technology has power to "prevent you from being present" in an activity. They should demonstrate how to set boundaries with technology by scheduling screen free time into your day. One idea was to stack phones on a table when eating out together with others and the first person to look at their phone pays the bill. Technology companies should make it easier to create specific alerts to content notifications that really are important or come from important people. Turning off the blinking LED light could help a person focus on the here and now. People should plan for breaks from technology. People should use a real watch or clock instead of the technology to tell time. Technology companies should provide guidance on how to find therapists trained in cognitive behavioral therapy to help people change their behavior.

Should those identified as technology addicts be able to receive health insurance benefits for counseling services? Why or why not? Technology addicts should absolutely receive health insurance benefits for counseling services. These addicts may suffer from similar detrimental affects to their relationships with their family and coworkers. These individuals deserve to have an opportunity to make positive behavioral changes in their lives that may necessitate the use of an outside individual to help effect this change and be an accountability individual to the addict.

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