STEP 1

AD­MIT THAT YOU HAVE A PROB­LEM

Best Health - - BALANCE -

When it comes to our ob­ses­sive need to do – and post – ev­ery­thing, it’s not al­ways the tech­nol­ogy that al­lows us to do both that is to blame but rather the way we’re us­ing it, says Dr. Katy Kamkar, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist at the Centre for Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health (CAMH) and an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of psy­chi­a­try at the Univer­sity of Toronto. Her big­gest con­cern is that peo­ple are us­ing DIY tech­nol­ogy to the ex­treme – and at the ex­pense of other things. “If you’re do­ing these things to the point where you’re feel­ing over­whelmed, step back and think about your goals and what you’re try­ing to achieve,” says Dr. Kamkar. “Ask your­self, ‘Is this re­ally mak­ing me more pro­duc­tive or im­prov­ing my well-be­ing and qual­ity of life?’”

Blam­ing tech­nol­ogy for our trou­bles takes the onus off learn­ing to act re­spon­si­bly, says Dr. Pamela Rut­ledge, di­rec­tor of the Me­dia Psy­chol­ogy Re­search Cen­ter in New­port Beach, CA. Our de­vices, apps and so­cial me­dia plat­forms are sim­ply tools, she says, in the same way that ham­mers are. She rec­om­mends do­ing a tech au­dit to eval­u­ate why you turn to these tools so of­ten: Is it to be in­formed? To con­nect? To re­lax? To pro­cras­ti­nate? To be mo­ti­vated or in­spired? And how does it make you feel? Happy, en­er­gized and calmer or ag­i­tated, an­noyed and re­sent­ful? “Eval­u­ate how you’re us­ing each tool against the cri­te­ria that will best sup­port your goals,” says Dr. Rut­ledge.

And think about bal­ance, too, says Dr. Kristin Buhr, a reg­is­tered psy­chol­o­gist and di­rec­tor of the North Shore Stress & Anx­i­ety Clinic in North Van­cou­ver. Thanks to all our de­vices, we’re never re­ally off duty any­more. “There’s never a chance to re­group,” she says. What’s worse, she says, is that we have a hor­ri­ble ten­dency to use mul­ti­ple de­vices at once. “I’ll be watch­ing TV, my lap­top is open, I’m tex­ting with a friend and I feel like I’m get­ting lots done, but I’m not do­ing any­thing mind­fully,” she says. “We’ve lost our sense of bal­ance around tech­nol­ogy al­to­gether.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.