365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy


In control…or being controlled?

Day 117

My name is Anine Ekelund, and I am a tech addict…

Well that is perhaps an exaggeration … because I do have the ability to turn my gadgets off, and I am not on them non-stop. But still – I think that I do spend too much time on my phone and laptop. If I was to count how many times I look at my phone throughout the day, it would be many. Too many!

How about you? Are people complaining about you being on your gadgets? How efficient are you with your time? How about counting the number of times that you look at your phone or Ipad, and how many hours you spend on the computer daily! Then compare that time with how much undivided attention and time you give your family members and friends. Try guessing your ratio today and then write down the actual figure after you count tomorrow. I think that you will most likely be surprised – if you are anything like me, or perhaps most people in today’s tech dominated world.

I want to change my behavior to be more efficient with my time, and even more importantly – to be completely present with the people I meet – without checking my phone, texting or reading anything (unless I am with my father – who also loves to socialize and is as bad as me when it comes to being on his phone :)).

The only way to get a healthy relationship with tech gadgets, I think, is to have certain rules; in the same way, as it is good to set some guidelines for how often and how much we drink alcohol. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, when we get lost to our gadgets and they take over the control of our lives we will suffer consequences, which sometimes can be quite severe.

Children carry their teddy bear just as adults walk around with their phones, Ipads and other gadgets. Is there any difference to a teddy bear and our gadgets? They both give a sense of satisfaction and security. A teddy bear is soft and cuddly and quite innocent, but our gadgets – when used in excess – create a false sense of security.

Our ability to let go of our gadgets says a lot about our personality. If we cannot let go and be fully present with people or with tasks – without checking our tech gadgets often , we have a problem that can have dire impact – to ourself. It can also impact our relationships – who most likely suffers from lack of attention, attentiveness and courtesy..

To those of us who argue we have to be available and check our phones or answer them, despite being with other people, or when working, ought to rethink! WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONTACT US. We decide when we have time and would like to be available to answer.

One rule in our family is that we do not use our phones during meals. We do not answer a phone ringing or send an sms while we are enjoying each other’s company and conversations. It is very hard to have a meaningful exchange with someone who is half there with their attention.

Some rules that I want to live by – from now on…:

  1. My phone should never be at table when I eat with others.
  2. While having a conversation with someone, I will not check an sms or answer the phone if it is ringing. ( or I will have my phone on silent  and in my handbag).
  3. In the evenings, I will not be on my phone or on the laptop – except for max 30 minutes to attend to urgent matters. I will remind myself, that there is always a tomorrow when I can answer people.
  4. In the evening, I make sure to spend time with my family or friends, read a book, watch a film or the news – in order to invest in my relationships and in myself.

Do you have ideas on rules which you would like to commit to?