5 point strategy for avoiding electronic input overload

30 years ago there were no iPhones, Ipads, few PC’s, and limited cable TV. Video games consisted of Pong. That was about one generation ago. Fast forward to the present day, and the volume of electronic signals hitting the brain is a staggering avalanche of noise. The connection has gone beyond necessary communication and has become a troubling intrusion. How much of an effect it is having on human development is difficult to measure. The dangers of tobacco were unknown in 1940, and the toxic effects of processed foods is just now being seen after a few decades.

So if you are of the opinion that the electronic onslaught is unhealthy, here are a few ways to defend against the damage. If you do not have this point of view, why not try it anyway, and see if you feel better after a few weeks. If not, go back to plan A.

1. Turn off “Auto Complete” on your browser – This will require you to enter in the full URL address of the sites you wish to view, and might cut down on frantic surfing.

2. 5 foot from bed rule – Place all phones, PDA’s, and iPads at least 5 feet from the bed when you sleep, preferably in another room. This way, you will be less likely to check in with emails last minute before you sleep, and more likely to stay snoozing until the last minute. No temptation to just grab your phone and read emails late or early.

3. Set a timer – Yeah, this is juvenile, but it might keep you from overdoing it with TV, surfing, or emailing. Allow some total screen time (at home) each day, maybe 60 minutes. You’ll find things to do in the extra available time. Your spouse/SO is a good place to start. 🙂

4. No screens after 8 PM – Shut everything off at 8:00 at night. This way you’ll have at least an hour or two of time to get the artificial light waves out of your brain before you sleep. This alone will make you sleep better, I promise. Try it and prove it to yourself.

5. Subscribe to at least 10 printed magazines – Having these show up twice per week and pile up on the coffee table will give you something else colorful to look at without having to boot up or log on. Plus, you will discover a less time sensitive media to enjoy. Reading does not have to be a hunting sport, it can take place whenever you want. Turning pages one by one is less damaging to the intellect than furiously clicking links.

Bonus trick: Do you miss reality TV or watching humans? Try this: Mall meditation. Go to a shopping mall, movie theater, or any place alot of people gather. Sit and watch them. Observer the couples, families, and groups. First observe without judgment or analysis. Then start to guess their stories, hear their conversations, and watch how very few of them even notice the same  surroundings you are seeing. Doing this a few times will also build skills on being able to be presently aware of your environment and the people in it next time you are engaged in a similar scenario.

If you try these out and they make you feel better and more sharp, you can thank me later for when you cancel cable TV and save $100 per month.

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~ by Dave on April 20, 2012.

One Response to “5 point strategy for avoiding electronic input overload”

  1. The advice on turning of AutoComplete is truly novel! Great idea! Thanks!

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