Do you live in a TMT (Too Much Technology) Zone?

Turn off your cell phone before you get to the dining table.

Sustainability Now News
by Maryann Ridini Spencer (@MaryannRidiniSpencer)

Have you ever been out to dinner and had your friend, family member or partner answer their cell phone and talk for a few minutes, leaving you out of the conversation? Maybe you’ve been involved in a heart-to-heart, and just at the moment you were going to divulge the most important detail, you were told to “hold that thought” while your friend or family member answered their cell phone? Do you often find your partner or friend mysteriously glued to their iPad or computer keyboard much to your chagrin? Without the risk of being too crass, sometimes technology bites. If you’ve ever been in any one of the above situations, you’ve experienced, first hand, the frustration of being upstaged by modern technology, or as my old boss jokingly used to tell his victims, “by a bigger name.”

Connecting with the people in our lives – our friends, family, and our special someone – is vital to our health and wellbeing. Being kind and generous with our undivided attention can go a long way. Connecting on a face-to-face, technology-free, personal basis is paramount. Especially in this fast-paced, stressful era of job downsizing, mergers & acquisitions and where digital technology rules, it can be easy for the ones you love (or for you) to become alienated living in the TMT (Too Much Technology) Zone.

How to live TMT Free

  • Turn off your cell phone before you get to the dining table.
  • Enjoy a Sunday meal with the entire family – create time together to talk and interact minus the electronics.
  • On a date or at a business meeting? Power your phone OFF (or ask the person you’re with to do the same). You can pick up your messages later. You might also select your “alternate” greeting, letting folks know you are in a meeting and will return their call later.
  • Let your weekends or vacation truly be “time off.” Use your email “vacation message” or select your alternate voicemail message to tell clients, friends, and associates you’ll call on Monday when you’re back at the office. If you find that you have to be available to respond, try to designate a specific time of day that won’t interfere with your dedicated activities.

Great Examples of How to Use Technology

  • In the mood to share an expression of love? Go for it. Just don’t text or send images of anything you don’t want to appear on the front page of the Sunday papers (you never know with technology!). LOL.
  • A quick “thank you,” to share an expression of gratitude.
  • A reminder for an important appointment, service, task, or time sensitive task.

Keeping in mind the importance of in-person sharing of essential feelings, thoughts and ideas, talk to those in your life about technology abuse and set up some ground rules. Connecting on a personal level and nurturing your important relationships by being TMT Free, or at least controlling your impulses to reach for your iPhone or tablet, can have extremely pleasing results. Enjoying the warmth of loving, appreciative and attentive arms around you can warm up the day or night and fill the heart more than any text or chat on Facebook or Twitter.

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