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Friday, November 30, 2018

It is important to have technology-life balance - Standard Digital

Virtually every facet of our modern life is influenced by information and communication technology (ICT).

Today, there are billions of mobile phone subscribers and tens of millions of new Internet users around the world.

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Equally, hundreds of millions of people around the world use satellite services in tasks such as getting accurate directions.

We all have a choice about how we use our time, where we place our attention, and how we manage our daily life trends and the so-called digital distractions.

Although most of us often heap blame on work for feeling tired or fatigued, we need to examine how digital distractions contribute to this and start taking responsibility.

We must strive to create a suitable technology-life balance.

Today, there are over two billion smartphone subscriptions globally, and while growth has been levelling off in developed markets, it is not stalling altogether by a long shot.

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Smartphone users

In the next three years for instance, it is estimated by Digital Trends that there will be about six billion smartphone users globally led by huge growth in virgin territories. 

This is equivalent to some 70 per cent of the world’s population using smartphones in the next five years – a measure of just how central these devices are determining how we communicate and interact with each other.

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Mobile phone companies like OPPO have been focusing on innovative technology such as providing excellent smartphone photography experiences to over 200 million young people around the world.

Even as we work around-the-clock to improve life through technology and digital world, we will still need a good technology-life balance to stay productive.

But taking back control of our technology-life balance is a gradual and sometimes slow process. First, we need to become aware of exactly how much time we spend on our mobile phones in a calendar year.

It is not about shunning technology. It is about being in control of how technology fits into your life.

It is possible to easily release one’s life from the steely grip of modern technology. The big picture is to discover how we can fundamentally boost productivity by keeping our entire brains and both eyes on the task at hand.

You can ask yourself these questions for instance: When was the last time you worked on something, giving it your all, without being distracted by your smartphone, email or social media?

It is without doubt that our ability to focus is fading fast in the digital world. It has become normal for us to be constantly wired, half-in and half-out of virtual conversations.

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We are not only diluting our brain power but also increasing our stress levels, damaging our relationships as well as trust and getting less accomplished.

Improve relationships

We need to increase the quality of our work, improve relationships and achieve our set goals within the specified time frames. Most of all, we need to feel human again.

It is a fact that our landscape is changing fast. Our population demographics show that more than 90 per cent of Kenyans will be below 40 years by 2030. This means that in the next decade, a large percentage of young people will be tech-savvy.

In effect, more and more people will depend heavily on technology in the next few years.

It brings to mind the yesteryears when owning a typewriter, or better still, a telephone was glorified. With one, they would type out all manner of communication (Alas, the racket that machine would make!)

Those who did not have typewriters had to make do with the good old letter and the post box.

Those who did not not own telephones had to make the trip to town to use the telephone booth.

Still, the typewriter and the telephone booth did not promote the sedentary lifestyle of today’s instant text messaging, video chat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  

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Although we appreciate that advanced technology has made our lives easier and placed the global village at our fingertips, let us not forget the technology-life balance! 

Mr Irungu is OPPO Kenya’s PR and Communications Manager

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