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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

3 Healthy Cell Phone Tips - Posted by Patrick Moore

3 Healthy Cell Phone Tips

Posted by Patrick Moore
on Thu, Aug 30, 2007, 11:31 pm PDT

Like many people, I find that I use my cell phone more and more. There is no denying that this device has changed the way we live.
However, not all of these changes have been for the better. It is clear that cell phones have changed our behavior in ways that impact our emotional health and our interactions with other people.

Let's take a look at three areas where cell use can be detrimental and three tips for a healthier relationship with technology.

We used to be quite content spending time alone, walking down the street or waiting in a coffee shop for a friend. Now, however, many of us seem to feel the need to be constantly connected to another person via a digital device.
No moment can pass without the emotional security blanket of holding on to another person electronically. This is a kind of dependence that tells us that it is not OK to be alone, that we are somehow lacking without constant connection with another person.

INDEPENDENCE TIP - Try being alone for a few hours. If you are shopping or walking or driving, turn off the phone. See what it feels like to simply be on your own without giving in to the habit of carrying around all of your friends and family via the cell phone.

This is the area where new technology is busily eroding the social contract that makes it possible for humans to live together peacefully. Not a day goes by where I don't witness a confrontation over selfish cell phone use.
Whether it is a dangerous driver chatting away or a gym-goer screaming into their phone while on the treadmill or the blinding glare of an electronic screen in a darkened movie theater, these tiny devices can cause giant conflicts. Because they focus our attention and block out the outside world, cell phones reinforce selfish behavior.

POLITENESS TIP - Just think of others and get real about your needs. Is there truly a call or email that cannot wait until the movie is over or until I leave the gym? If there is something that important going on, then perhaps it would be better to stay at home or in the office.

Many people depend upon their phones for help. But it was only a few years ago when most of us did not have a cell phone and we seemed to survive. Yes, terrorism has scared (and scarred) us, but realistically, if a nuclear bomb hits Los Angeles, my cell phone is not going to do much to help me.
We have become irrationally attached to these devices as a way for us to deal with fear in the modern world. I will be the first to admit that a mobile phone is useful in a situation such as a car accident but, for the most part, our magic little devices are not going to protect us from a big, scary world.

FEARLESS TIP - Practice being without your phone for a day and see what fears come up. Are you afraid that a loved one is in trouble or that something bad will happen to you? At the end of the day, ask yourself if those fears were real or just a habit.

As modes of digital communication become more and more powerful, the time is right to use this new technology in a way that is not only convenient but also emotionally healthy for everyone


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