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Technology! We live and work with it every day. It is the means of making a living, has fuelled a social media obsession and is the fount of all knowledge, accurate and otherwise – but has this valued servant now become our master?
It’s something our very own Katy Jones has been thinking about, our reliance on technology, the need to take time out from it and the ability to recognise fact from fiction.
“I have run an IT support company for 21 years so am invested in technology more than most people, but I am uncomfortable about several aspects of our dependence on it – such as the way it appears to be reprogramming our brains and how it is now ‘the company we keep’.
“Also, as an ex-librarian, the provenance of sources of information was always of paramount importance – now people believe what they read and fake news is hard to spot. I used to love a good conspiracy theory but the explosion of these alternative truths and the way they spread is quite scary, leaving gullible people easily manipulated.”
The business techtimeout was launched in 2020 by Stephanie Henson, Sales Director of UK web development and CRM company Six Ticks, after deciding something needed to be done to halt the general slide towards unhealthy relationships with technology.
Since hearing about the idea for building some tech time out into our lives Katy has been interested in the concept.
“I was approached about being an ambassador for techtimeout and I have taken a personal approach and have had a lot of interesting discussions with friends and family.”
Katy would like to share some of their ideas and comments with you:
“One of the most outspoken is a friend, a few years younger than me, who feels techtimeout is an attack on technology. His need to be able to use his phone and computer at all times is of paramount importance.
“He is fearful about something happening which would prevent him seeing his emails 24-7. He has smart TV’s in each room with every possible TV platform and the ability to play online games. I tried to persuade him that it isn’t tech itself which is bad – it is a total reliance on it, an addiction which is disturbing to a lot of people.
“An 82-year-old friend is adamant she needs every gadget going – from Smart TVs to Google and a washing machine which she can program from her iPhone. She taught herself and then her friends to use Zoom during the pandemic so they can still have their regular coffee get-togethers.
“I am incredibly proud of her and inspired by her readiness to incorporate all these new technologies but she says she also needs time in the peace and quiet of the countryside and although she takes her phone, would not dream of looking at it, checking her emails or using Facebook while out and about.
“My daughter is 27 and really glad she grew up before social media became so all-encompassing. She is happy to read a book and is sensible with her use of tech, she uses the statistics provided and knows if she has used the phone usefully or just ‘scrolled’.
“Another friend is a therapist and sees a lot of young people who are ‘lost’ and don’t have a direction in their lives. They are so easily led by things they come across whilst using Facebook or links to sites on the internet.
“And then there’s my mum. She is worried that she is so behind with technology that she soon won’t be able to live her life the way she wants.
“The more conversations I have been having about techtimeout; the more I am realising just how we are governed and even addicted to technology. It is a worry and while I have always encouraged my customers to use technology to control their businesses, it now feels like technology is starting to control us!”
You can test how dependent you are on technology by taking the techtimeout10 challenge….why not give it a go this week?