9 November 2016
.....Time to switch off.
Is the ‘always on’ culture causing more harm than good? Research suggest that our growing reliance on technology is making us less productive at work, affecting our mental wellbeing and leaving us stressed out. This stress is exacerbated by the fact that we’re always ‘contactable’ thanks to our smartphones, checking our emails the minute we wake and before we go to sleep, making it almost impossible for the ‘always connected generation’ to switch off.
You’d think that always being connected would be good for business, and to some extent it is, as we now have the ability to work anywhere at any time. However it can also foster burnout, creating feelings of guilt if we don’t reply to emails instantly, sapping our energy and leaving us unable to carry out our jobs effectively.
And it’s not just our work that’s being affected – tech addiction is having a negative impact on our family lives too. If you’re guilty of checking your emails or social media while at the dinner table instead of talking to your children and finding out about their day, you might need to reach for that off button once in a while…
Years ago, in the time before the Internet, mobile phones, text messaging and social media, we were comfortable with the fact that we couldn’t be contacted by anyone, other than on a landline telephone (remember those?), or in person. But now our default setting is connected, and we kind of lose the plot when the broadband goes down or we misplace our smartphones (oh the panic!). This has become known as ‘disconnectivity anxiety’, and it’s affecting more and more of us as our need to be constantly in the know and available 24/7 becomes all consuming.
“I hate that our generation feels the need to share everything with the internet first before connecting with another person.” Instagram – The Good Quote
This difficulty in separating our work and private lives can lead to mental overload and the feeling of ‘never being free’. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have found that those who are constantly using their computer or smartphone can develop stress, sleeping disorders and even depression as they neglect social interaction, sleep and physical activity.
Whether you choose to be connected via technology at all times or not, remember that when it comes to upgrading or disposal, the importance of responsible computer recycling has never been more vital, if you want to play your part in reducing potentially health and environmentally damaging e-waste, as well as keeping your data secure. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers, handhelds, smartphones and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.