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Why Technology Is Ruining Our Mental Health

Do you really need to sleep with your phone?

 

Call or text me anytime. You won’t disturb me. My phone and smartwatch are turned off when I’m sleeping. They’re nowhere near me. They’re in the kitchen charging. There’s nothing so urgent in my business that my sleep needs to be disturbed. We still have a landline, just in case our kids or grandkids need to reach us. I hope there’s never an emergency necessitating a middle-of-the-night call.

Bottom line: I need sleep to be a good salesperson, and to be a healthy human being. So, I’m not letting technology rob me of my slumber. But I might be in the minority.

We’ve become so addicted to our phones, that we can’t function without them. Accidents happen because we’re texting while driving. Walk down any street in any city, and everyone’s looking down at their phones. Or, they’re walking with their wireless earbuds in, talking so loudly that everyone can hear.

Unless you’re a doctor on call, an EMT, or an emergency-room physician, it can wait. Our digital dependence is harmful to our health. It’s an addiction, plain and simple.

Last week, I wrote about how digital dependence hinders sales, but it can also wreak havoc on our personal lives and careers.

Daren Dodd, in the Financial Times, writes about social networking, the increasing burden on mental health, and how technology is intruding on our sleep, interfering with our family time, and making us less productive at work. Companies need to acknowledge the dangers to their workforce and take action. Some companies already are.

Here’s a snippet of his post:

Social Networking and the Increasing Burden on Mental Health
By Daren Dodd

Barely a week passes without another study raising concerns about our compulsive use of smartphones and social media.

Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, found that two-fifths of adults looked at their phones within five minutes of waking up — rising to almost two-thirds for those under 35. More than half said their devices interrupted face-to-face conversations with friends and family.

The Pew Research Center, a US think-tank, reported that a quarter of American adults were “almost constantly” online. About half of respondents to the latest edition of a long-running UK survey from the consultancy Deloitte admitted they had a constant need to check their phone. So how is this affecting business life?

 

Read the rest of Daren’s post on FT.com.

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