Woman on computer
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It's easy to get wrapped up in the endless excitement of technology: sending work emails from the comfort of your own home, catching up with old friends through social networking and constantly texting on your cell phone—no matter where you are. But when do all these technological advancements become a means to avoid what's happening in your life, right here, right now? Madisyn Taylor shows you how to draw the line, unplug from your gadgets and get back to what matters.
Since technology has become more common in our workplaces and households, an interesting shift has taken place in the way we communicate with each other. Long gone are the days when families sat together for dinner, played board games in the evening or shared stories about their days in meaningful conversations. Today, we communicate or distract ourselves with cell phones, computers, PDAs (BlackBerrys), video games, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the Internet. Everywhere we look—walking down the street, driving in a car, eating in a restaurant, going to the movies—people can't seem to let go of their gadgets.

How do you know if you are spending too much time with your gadgets?

Here are some signs:

  • You can't get through a meal without checking your email or texting.

  • You talk on your cell phone or text while driving.

  • You use your gadgets when you are alone or because you are bored.

  • You communicate with somebody using technology when they are under the same roof.

  • The thought of being without your cell phone or email for a day makes you nervous.

  • Having lots of Facebook friends makes you feel better about yourself.
If you recognize yourself in these statements, then you may be somebody who hides behind technology. Add up all the time you spend texting and using social media sites, and you will be surprised how the minutes add up to hours—hours you could have spent reading a book, taking a walk in nature or having a meaningful in-person conversation with someone.

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