Even techies need to shut off their smart phones once in a while:

Our gadgets help make life easier. Now you can get the address of that new Thai restaurant with your cell phone. You can instantaneously tell all your friends of your new job through Twitter and Facebook. If you don’t have enough time to watch the news, you can read it on the way to work on your tablet. But sometimes our gadgets distract us from the “real” world. And in some cases they decrease our productivity. When we should really be working or thinking, we’re checking our e-mails and sending texts. The New York Times recently asked the question: Would we all gain from short technology breaks?

Surprising agreement

The answer, according to the Times: Yes. And the notion of a tech break has some unlikely supporters: high-use tech fans. As an illustration, the Times profiles a former Twitter employee who, while writing a book, found that he struggled to concentrate amid the constant ringing and beeping of his iPhone. So the author took the big step of ditching his tech. The result? His productivity, and creativity, greatly improved.

Many others

The Times story learned that this former Twitter worker was far from alone. The story’s author relates a game that he plays with his technology-minded friends. Whenever they gather for dinner, they each put their phones in the middle of the table. The first person who touches his or her phone before the meal concludes has to pick up the bill.

What about you?

Is it time to have a break from your own technology? Ask yourself this: How many times do you check Facebook each day? How much time do you spend reading and commenting on blogs? Can you get through a face-to-face conversation without glancing down at that incoming text message? Tech might be overtaking your life. Take a rest and you might find plenty of real-world distractions that are equally as interesting.

Posted on: 06.28.13