We often hear the words mindfulness and technology mentioned together but what exactly is mindful technology use, and how can one adhere to it?

When it comes to mindful technology use, it really just boils down to ensuring that you’re maintaining a healthy balance and paying attention to your own personal wellbeing. A lot of it has to do with establishing boundaries. This could involve setting time-outs and limits when it comes to spending time on technology and/or making non-negotiable rules about devices (ex. no devices at the dinner table and/or a cut-off at a certain time in the evening and ondays off).

It can also involve self-awareness. How do you feel when you are scrolling endlessly on your phone? Does it make you feel more stressed out or anxious? Do you notice yourself becoming overstimulated by your devices? If you learn to become more self-aware of your reactions, you can make necessary adjustments.

Mindful technology use can also involve taking digital detoxes and breaks from your devices. Some people give up their phone for one day every week (i.e. Sundays). Others take a longer period of time off here and there (an entire weekend or week). These pre-planned breaks can free up more time for you to get out into nature and interact with people in the real world.

Being mindful of your technology use also involves being aware of how much you are using your electronics. Pay attention to which online activities you are engaging in on a regular basis, and the value (or lack thereof) that they bring to your life. Along with that, you should also learn to be selective when it comes to the content that you are consuming. Avoid becoming overloaded, or engaging with anything that can negatively impact your mindset. You should be very intentional when deciding what to interact with and how. Ask yourself deeper questions to determine your underlying intentions and to ascertain whether or not it is a good use of your time.

Try to use your technology to connect with others instead of becoming more disconnected as overindulgence tends to do. Be sure to work towards establishing online relationships that are meaningful and do your best to connect with the same people in-person as well.

At the end of the day, when it comes to mindful technology use, you must always strive for balance. There should be equal devotion to activities both on and offline. The more in balance you are, the more satisfied and content you
will be, which involves taking the time needed for face-to-face interactions to offset the time that you are spending with technology.

Frequently reflect upon your activities and determine where you can make improvements. Remember to be flexible with yourself and learn to adapt if you feel that your technology use has become excessive. Technology is wonderful and helps us in many ways, but too much can lead to unhealthy habits. Find the right mix for you!