When is it time to shut off the smartphone, place the tablet in your desk drawer and shut the lid on the laptop? A newly released column in the New York Times suggests that we could all use the occasional tech break. The reason? Too much tech – text messages, Tweets, Facebook postings, Angry Birds – might be distracting us so much that we’re struggling to concentrate. When we can’t concentrate, we can’t be as productive as we need to be.
The Times story focused on some highly unlikely supporters of the take-a-tech-break theory: techies themselves. The Times, in fact, highlighted the case of an author and former Twitter employee. This techie was writing a book. But the constant chirping of his iPhone kept him from concentrating. When this techie ditched the phone, he found that the words flowed. His advice? Ditching the tech can significantly boost productivity.
The Times story found out that this former Twitter worker was far from alone. The story’s author relates a game that he plays with his technology-minded friends. When they gather for dinner, they each put their phones in the center of the table. The first person who touches his or her phone before the meal concludes has to pick up the check.
What about you?
Is it time to take a break from your own technology? Ask yourself this: How often do you check Facebook each day? How much time do you spend reading and commenting on blogs? Can you go through a face-to-face conversation without glancing down at that incoming text message? Tech may very well be overtaking your life. Take a break and you will probably find lots of real-world distractions that are equally as interesting.