They love posting countless selfies and pictures of food, babies and pets. Or maybe they’re the more passive digital technology addicts who just can’t stop looking at their devices, even at the dinner table. We all know these people and — sadly, yes — often we are these people.
Times have changed and so have media consumption habits. These days, most people check their smartphones, emails or Facebook feeds compulsively. One report surveying 1,600 managers and professionals found 70 per cent of respondents checked their devices within an hour of getting up, while 56 per cent of people checked their phones before they went to bed.
And Canadians are especially guilty of it. Canada had the most social networking users in the world on a per capita basis in 2012 (a title we may soon lose), according to research firm eMarketer.
If this sounds like you, you’re among the majority. Professional organizers Susan Borax and Heather Knittel say digital clutter is another thing they encounter on top of people’s everyday residential clutter.
“[Digital devices] serve multiple purposes like entertainment, work tools and a means to connect with friends and family. If too many hours are devoted to social media or surfing, then other important aspects of life may be suffering from neglect,” Borax says.
Not valuing your time — or that of others — is a sign of digital obsession. This applies to people who surf online for hours, constantly check emails or freak out if they lose their phones, according Psychology Today. As much as these tools were designed to help us communicate, they can also slowly take over our lives.
The best way to live stress-free with devices is to achieve balance between one’s digital and real life, according to the pair, who together are Good Riddance Professional Organizing Solutions in Vancouver. Find ways to make positive use of your digital devices. Calendars on your phone, for example, can help you keep organized. You can also try semi-unplugging during your work week by turning off your phone in the afternoon, trying to limit your Internet use after dinner or leaving your phone out of the bedroom.