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Technology is great in the way that it makes a big world small, but it has also changed the way we communicate with one another.
Turn On Your Brain
Excessive use of virtual and constant-contact communication methods can affect your mental and academic performance. According to a 2010 study by the Center on Media and Child Health, students report shorter attention spans—and feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression—when using tech devices frequently.
Margaret K., a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, says, “It is definitely one of the main things that prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep. I will be distracted on the computer, and suddenly it’s two hours later!” Set electronics aside an hour before bed. This gives your brain a chance to deactivate and your body time to wind down.
Plug Back In… With People
Nurturing relationships face-to-face is important. Ashley W., a junior at the University of Maryand-College Park, says, “People seem to have so much to say to each other over the Internet, but when they actually meet in person, they don’t know what to say. Technology doesn’t cultivate true communication skills.”
Plus, there’s etiquette. Many students feel, despite the frequency with which people do it, that it’s rude to check texts or play games when hanging out with people.
Get Off the Grid
Create a “tech log.” Track the time you spend on each of your tech devices. Decide if you can reduce the time, and by how much. Also consider deleting apps or games that tempt you to waste time. Or, set aside time each week when you’ll be outdoors and/or with other people, and leave the tech behind. You may find you like it!
Get help or find out more
The New York Times, Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device, July 23, 2012