So here’s another for the “Life as a Techie” series – Avoiding Tech Distractions:
I would like to point out a problem that I see a lot of people, and many teens, commit. I’m not just talking about texting and driving even though it takes number one on the list as most prominent, and dangerous. Many teens I see today are distracted all the time by technology. Now I know you’re thinking, “Wait, is Mike seriously telling me about teens getting distracted by tech? Wouldn’t he be the number one offender?” That may have been true in the past, and I can totally understand your point, but I have learned that I need to work on balance in my life. This whole subject is something I like to talk about since I am a teen and I also happen to love using technology. I can say that I strive to not make it a distraction.
My generation has created a reputation for not being respectful because it seems we’re constantly staring at screens (our phone or computer. So you may be wondering “What can I do? I mean tech is not going away Mike,”. That’s true but it doesn’t have to take over your life. It’s only distracting because we have allowed it. I mean just look at the car I want in the picture below.
So here’s what I do to curve the distractions of tech away when they’re not needed:
Keep Tech in Your Pocket:
Seriously people, I always shake my head when I see teens driving and texting. There is no real need to do it and leads to so many accidents and even deaths. If I asked you what you saw when you were driving and all you can come up with is a winky face then you seriously need to reevaluate your idea of focusing on the task at hand. It doesn’t have to be your phone it can be the radio, music, and a bunch of stuff that is not always tech. When you want to change the song wait until a stop light or even better just stop on the side if it’s that important to you. In many cars you can use the controls on the steering wheel or just let your fellow passenger be the DJ! Whenever I drive I actually put my phone in a place where I cannot easily get it. Take the distractions away so you don’t become another news story about a distracted teen driver!
Keep The Real World in Mind:
It’s easy to get caught up in the wonderful world of technology. You can easily create a whole group of friends in your gaming community or be one of those epic Facebooker’s (yes it’s a word) with 1,495 friends. And honestly I have no problem with it, but when we break it down we can only have so many ‘friends’. Every day I see people interacting in the social world rather than focusing on building the personal “real world” relationships. This distraction creats an environment that’s solely focused on you. And do any of us need to focus MORE on self? It’s really easy to avoid this distraction, look up at the world in front of you. Tech is an extension of you but you don’t have to let it define you. Focus back on reality. One easy way to do this is to take a break from all tech and social media at regular times. It can really help you have the balance we all need in life and this is true for adults just as much as teens!
Technology is a Tool:
This might sound weird coming from a techie who uses it every day. I mean c’mon I’m using it right now! But that’s exactly my point. Use tech like it was meant to be used. Technology has made our world smaller, it’s changed our social lives, and it constantly keeps us in the loop. That’s all good and helpful but like most things in life a positive thing that is overused can turn something good into a distraction.
My dad is a mechanic. I’ll always remember the hundreds and hundreds of tools he has and the day that I got my first knife. He told me something extremely important that day, “This is a unique tool and it can easily become a weapon, but that all depends on the man who uses it.” From then on I’ve come to respect any tool, all the way from a screwdriver to learning about weapons. Technology is so abundant now days that it can easily become a weapon to hurt others. If you wreck your car because of texting and driving you just turned yourself into a weapon. It really doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean to – because you did.
I see it too much in our world, don’t you? Tech is a great thing and it has shaped our 21st century into what we know. But like all things, “with great power, comes great responsibility,” (yea! Spiderman reference). If you respect others and respect what your limits are then you can easily use technology as a huge advantage in your life.