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Symptoms of being overconnected (and how to treat it)

by Guest on April 27, 2015

The Apple Watch went on sale to the public on Friday (24 April 2015), ushering in a new era of wearable technology and yet another area of our lives that is being digitised – and we know it’s only a matter of time until they pervade the business world. While there are definite pros to connecting our bodies to industry-leading technologies (check out the ResearchKit) in order to monitor ailments, you could already be exhibiting signs that you’re overconnected – a new kind of addiction that’s crippling businesspeople the world over. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

1. You’re using every. single. feature of your device

Sure, there are some ways to genuinely use these devices to increase your productivity and leverage workloads, such as voice recording your meetings and using transcribing software afterwards. That being said, we’ve come to a societal pivoting-point where the productivity boost from tech we experienced in the 90s has disappeared during the past decade. If you feel like reading weather alerts on your smart device while making notes on your laptop, checking your heart rate on your wrist and watching your shares plummet from a dashboard is the best use of your time, you may need to revisit your priorities. The worst-case scenario is that our digital dedication leads to secular stagnation: a permanent slump in our economy and everyday lives in general. Yikes! The thing to remember here is to realise that your devices should serve single purposes extremely well, rather than doing a million things ‘sort of’ well.

The worst-case scenario is that our digital dedication leads to secular stagnation: a permanent slump in our economy and everyday lives in general.

2. From a holistic view, your tech use isn’t encouraging growth

This idea lends itself to the above point, however in this instance we’re referring to a wider work-life balance. A recent article in Psychology Today points out a key highlight in modern distractions that is perhaps most pertinent in the digital space: your distractions aren’t personal. In the same way that there’s a strong correlation between younger children with cognitive issues and tech use, using technology to fuel your ‘me time’ could be nurturing habits and self-sentiments that won’t grow you as a person. Of course, this has both personal and business ramifications. You can nip this ailment in the bud by taking some analogue time off, working with something tactile and being unreachable for a while. Connect with yourself!

3. You’ve acquired health problems you didn’t have before tech

If there’s one term that should scare you, it’s digital dementia. Coined by a German neuroscientist, this term literally refers to the cognitive damage that tech overuse causes – which is almost identical to that experienced by people who’ve suffered head injuries or psychiatric illnesses. The Apple Watch has some pretty awesome health features (it reminds you to get up and walk during the day, while also hosting a ResearchKit that tracks your long-term health), but in a paradoxical sense this constant tracking of your health may also be the downfall of your wellbeing. For your health – and your sick leave – you need to know how tech may be ruining your wellbeing. Take a tech-holiday and re-energise your batteries by not using your phones; if you can’t do this for an extended period, set aside a couple of tech-free hours each day.

 Look at the list of expenses your team (and the company in general) is putting forward as brand investments, and – here’s the key – look at actual value returned.

4. Tech is considered an investment (when it may just be a toy)

Lastly, you might want to reconsider your ‘expenses’ if the majority of them are going to the App Store. While it might be nice to have a gold plated laptop, it’s not going to help your day-to-day business processes. Look at the list of expenses your team (and the company in general) is putting forward as brand investments, and – here’s the key – look at actual value returned. If you’re an online business, this might be traffic or conversions, or if you’re an author it would be book sales or publicity. While the findings might be harsh, this is how to cure the ‘impulsive investment’ myths you’re experiencing (and wasting money on).

michelle hutchinson bioMichelle Hutchison is the Money Expert for credit card comparison site creditcardfinder.com.au.

As a media commentator in financial services and online comparison for over five years, Michelle is one of the most prominent Money Experts in Australia. With a background in journalism, Michelle is a regulator contributor to many publications and websites. She loves to crunch data, and uncover interesting trends and insights into Australia’s banking industry and consumer behaviour.

Michelle on Linkedin | Michelle on G+ | @michhutchison

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