The Downsides To 21st Century Gadgets (And What You Can Do About It)

Although the assertion that more people worldwide own a mobile device like a cell phone than own a toothbrush has never been either proved or disproved, there's no doubt that we all love our gadgets. With over 85% of adult Americans owning such a device, the benefits of having access to information, music, video streaming (and even the ability to make the occasional phone call) are enjoyed by the vast majority.

As with all things, there are also downsides. The widespread use of mobile devices has also led to widespread problems. These problems, however, are not so much to do with the gadgets themselves but how they are viewed by those that use them every day. Luckily, this means that you can make adjustments to lessen the downsides' impact and possibly even turn them to your advantage.

#1 Overwork and burnout

Even if you thought you got a lot of messages before, then the last 12 months and the move to remote work for much of the officed-based workforce will have sent things to a whole new level. You might now get so many that you can't deal with them all within the usual 9-5 time frame.  

You might find yourself working late into the evening or intermittently stopping what you are doing to answer a manager or client who thinks that now you are working remotely, you are on call all of the time. 

By not allowing you to switch off and have some downtime, they affect your ability to work effectively, something that can decrease your productivity and have repercussions for both your physical and mental health.

One possible solution is to look at the communications you receive and prioritize them. If there are things that can be dealt with tomorrow, leave them and only deal with urgent matters. If this does not work, you could introduce boundaries for communication where you do not engage after 6 pm, for instance. If this does not work, you could turn your device off and use a separate one for your evening's entertainment.

#2 Having your identity stolen

Identity fraud is something we only usually see in movies or on the news as isolated incidents. However, identity fraud has so far claimed 60 million Americans, in one form or another. It can be a very worrying and traumatizing situation to be in, especially if it isn't your fault. 

With many of your activities taking place online (more on that in a moment), it makes them more open to exploitation. It is important to remember that those who wish to steal your data and identity are focused and sophisticated individuals, and you need to take measures to stop them from making you their next victim.

The most effective way of combatting them is by using authentication services, such as NFC technology, to protect your identity. You will need another document to show or scan to ensure that whoever is accessing the data or device is definitely you.

#3 Social disconnection

With the increased tendency to communicate online, especially during the last 12 months when regular face-to-face communication seems to have become a thing of the past, it can be hard to remember how to hold a conversation.

With the move to remote working highlighting the role in-person interaction plays in workplace innovation, it can be easy for you to see how this lack of contact across a whole society might affect thousands of people's mental health.

While digital devices can open up the whole world, they can also isolate and lead to a sense of disconnect that you might not notice until it is too late. While it might not be for everyone, replacing a stream of text messages that might be taken out of context with a single phone call could be a step in the right direction.

Post a Comment