Our mission as a company, is to provide our customers with the best possible equipment, at the best possible price; to keep your tech wellness at an optimum level. Connected Home offers services and electronics to make your life more convenient, to make it more connected to the outside world. Everything we do is about connection; your digital, entertainment and smart home connections. But what is the impact on our personal and physical connections? How are we at maintaining our connections off-line? Should we always stay tethered?
The purpose of a home integrator is to connect you to your friends and family in the global network by first connecting you to your home and your network. Want more real "Facetime" with the whole family actually at your home? Try one of our home theater systems and I guarantee they will by bringing over Blu-rays every weekend! This seems like just another piece of hardware to install. Yet this modem, is your electronic bridge to Netflix and Chill, your digital connection to grandkids, your portal for the day's news, the metaphorical highway you travel to escape the "real" world from time to time. Plus knowing that you have our support options available 24/7 everyday of the year, will not only help your tech wellness, but you may find an equilibrium with that piece of mind that allows you better mental balance. Our connections enrich your life by saving you more time for the connections that matter the most.
As someone who grew up during the emergence of the home computer, I embrace the convenience that today's technology brings. The speed at which we can consume information. When I was a child, it was the street light rule for me and my sister. Our mother would kick us out of the house and off of the television to make sure we had balance in our lives. This morning I looked at my son, and I see his iPad that he cannot seem to live without. Nostalgia kicks in and I am transported back to the days of my Gameboy in the backseat of the minivan on summer vacations. Thirty years later and now my son has access to nearly everything on the planet in 5 seconds. Slowly, I began to feel like Neo in the Matrix waking to the real world to see he is literally connected to the network. At this moment, a familiar phrase had found its way to the front of my mind. "Must find balance Daniel-San," Mr. Miyagi would say.
Sometimes you just need to UNPLUG from it all. We here at Connected Home are gadget fanatics, but yes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. You cannot enrich your life by watching a Star Wars marathon everyday, it would most likely produce the opposite effect. Using modern tech, you can see and hear things from all over the world. You could literally spend your entire life watching Youtube and never see the same video twice. These attributes can shine so bright and call so loudly that you could become oblivious to everything else around you. What about your sense of smell, touch, and taste? Don't wait for the 32K QUAD Pro Smellivision, go get your living on!
You can listen to anything you wish online, but have you ever seen them live? Or how about that new local band that is finally getting noticed. Have you been to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater to actually see them? Try it! Football is on TV every Sunday during the season. Then again, your local high school has a game every Friday and would love the support. You can see movies or shows about the beach, but can you remember the last time you dipped your toes in the surf? Why can't you be the one making those memories? You should be watching the videos later simply to remind you of how amazing your life has become.
What are some of the issues that can arise from be connected for too long?
Addiction or Dependence on a smartphone. In fact, a 2015 Pew Research report found that 73% of teens ages 13-17 have a smartphone or access to one. Not only do the majority of teenagers have a smartphone, but more than 50% say they are addicted to their phones and can’t function without them. The stress of constantly looking for a place to charge your phone. The anxiety of waiting to see if you have any likes or comments on your social media post. The distraction of your phone redundantly sending you alerts, notifications and reminders. There may come a time soon when Smartphones will be considered the cigarettes of this generation.
Degrading Social Skills. Due to this addiction, teenagers are now interacting via faceless communication, where they’d prefer to text or send messages on social media rather than talk to someone in person. This deindividualized approach allows for greater anonymity and isolation and takes away opportunities to practice vital social skills. The anonymity can lead to more frequent bullying and teenagers are less inhibited to say hurtful things to each other when they’re replying from behind their phones. The majority of our current work force have moved away from manufacturing and into the service industry. The jobs that allowed people to forgo direct communication are becoming a thing of the past. Without these desperately needed social skills, how will they fare when confronted in real conversation with another person in the adult world?
Chronic Depression is an additional side effect that comes with too many hours connected. Whether you are being cyber-bullied while gaming online to having an embarrassing video surface of you and spread through the whole school with one press a button. Now add in fake or spoof social accounts so you do not even know who is even tormenting you. Don't forget to multiply that number by the amount of likes you should have got from Facebook and the image of your virtual coolness number becomes more clear. Your depression grows as you watch all of your friends on their wonderful vacations while you are stuck at home. You may have alienated most of your family and friends offline because you stayed online too often. Now you feel alone at home and even more alone while online. The icing on this unhappy cake, you lack the social skills to develop new relationships.
Eye strain and Chronic Headaches are other symptoms of too much screen time. It is unlikely that these conditions could be permanent, but they are at least a nuisance and can lead to more severe problems. The effect of screen time is different for everyone! Symptoms of eye dryness and strain can be aggravated by a number of other exposures in our day to day lives. For example, contact lenses or prior LASIK eye surgery can exacerbate dryness and irritation, medications such as antihistamines or antidepressants can cause eye dryness, and low humidity environments such as office buildings with blowing air conditioning or heat can also cause eye irritation. People with any of the above risk factors may experience eye symptoms with even minimal screen time.
Physical symptoms like eye strain and headaches can lead to sleep deprivation, that you are sure to be experiencing. This can happen because you're just staying up too long watching a movie you had to finish, playing too much Playstation, or because you are addicted to social media and cannot put your phone down. Over time, the blue light coming from all these screens have been scientifically linked to numerous harmful side effects, including sleep deprivation. Between 2012 and 2015, 22% of teenagers did not get seven hours of sleep per night, primarily due to stimulation from their phone screen lights. That glowing light suppresses Melatonin, a hormone that supports sleep. Scrolling through a phone before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Over time, sleep deprivation will lead to slower reaction times, performance issues at work or school due to fatigue, and mood swings.
If you have younger children
In addition to setting screen rules, it’s important to talk with your children about healthy phone use. This is a way to learn more about their phone interactions and ensure they understand the dangers of cyber-bullying and communication with strangers. Establish regular check-ins with your kids to maintain an ongoing conversation about their phone safety. It may be difficult, but you need to lead by example. Try to get your whole family engaged in more positive connections online.
10 Ways to improve your Mental Balance
One day a week, try your workout regimen with your phone in Airplane Mode. Distraction free. Wireless EMF energy free.
Meditation. Yoga. Your Time. Try all Device free and get more out of your free time.
Try a "power off" family meal a few nights a week. The food and the company will both be more satisfying.
You and someone you love (pets included) are the only ones who should share your bed. Tell your phone, laptop and television you need downtime. Experience better quality rest possible with less blue light in your nightlife.
Grab your phone and delete ONE app. One less app is one less distraction. Just don't let it be the Calm or Breathe Apps, you may need those.
Hide Notifications. Try this for fewer distractions for at least a block of time each day.
Designate specific times for you and your children to go outside. Play catch or tag and get a little more active. You get more Dopamine from your child saying I love you than you do from a follower on Twitter.
Start off your day without your tech. Yes you can. Wake up, get ready for the day, and let your wheels turn. No tech til after breakfast. Starting the day off on the right foot makes a huge impact.
Get a Flip Phone! Limit your phone for only calls and texts, as originally intended. You still have your tablet, laptop and plenty other connections. Just try to eliminate the device used the most.
The most important, enlist your spouse or partner to hold you accountable. You can do this for each other. Have some fun and make a game out of it. See if you can encourage each other to be more mentally healthy. This is the kind of game you'll really enjoy, because win or lose, you will benefit no matter the score.
8 Massive Benefits of Unplugging
Clears your mind and improves mental abilities. Disconnecting from your tech can help you free space from your head and recenter yourself to focus on the things that really matter. Removes distraction from your task at hand. Remember the mind needs rest just as much as any other muscle to fully recover from stress.
Alleviates internet and social media addiction. Internet and social media addiction is real. Just because you have access to them almost anywhere doesn’t mean you have to use them. There are casinos everywhere in Las Vegas and they all have addiction warnings on the door. Internet and social media addiction is real. Just because you have access to them almost anywhere doesn’t mean you have to use them.
Will Improve Your Interpersonal Communications. There will still be a need to search out connections, but now you will have to do it personally. The biggest benefit will come from better communication with your partner, It is much easier to misread a text versus a live statement. When he/she says, "Say that again?", remember that is a sign to change your tone.
Unplugging encourages good old-fashioned handwriting. Researchers at Princeton and UCLA recently released a report that says students who write things down usually outperform students who take notes electronically. Surely it will improve your work habits and retention also.
Encourages you to think outside of the box. We don’t realize how reliant we are on technology until it is taken away. The term "Google it" is something many of us live by, and for good reason—it works. But it’s good to know that there are other options, like looking up information in books, asking experts, or doing our own calculations. Plus, the journal Educational Psychology cites resourcefulness as an important characteristic when dealing with long-term stress and academic performance.
Fosters emotional intelligence and empathy. Technology is such an integral part of our lives that we often forget that there are other options available—like common sense, problem solving, and reading human emotions. An NPR report cited a study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior that showed students who were not exposed to technology were significantly better at reading human emotion. Remember your phone cannot help you mend a broken heart, but maybe a person can.
Can help get you more Vitamin D. t’s not hard to understand that when you put down the electronics, you go outside more. This increase in vitamin D is hugely important. Doctors are actually prescribing outdoor time to some patients because of long-term health problems stemming from vitamin D deficiency, like diabetes and heart disease. According to research from Harvard University, nearly 50 percent of the population has a vitamin D deficiency. The best way to increase your Vitamin D is from skin absorption from the Sun.
Rediscovery of the Natural World. Plan an unplugged trip for your family, whether it’s a local outing or a trip to another country. Challenge your children to go device-free during your journey and encourage them to connect with a new culture the “old-school” way. For instance, have them observe the art and architecture of the places you visit, interact with nature and the environment around you, engage in conversation with locals, sample new foods, and more. This is what travel is all about—learning by experiencing things first-hand.
There is so much in life to explore and for me the most enjoyable way to discover new things is to get your hands dirty. There may be some ups and downs, and life hardly ever goes by your plan. Back to the Karate Kid, life is about balance. Yes technology is amazing and can help you life in many ways, but it cannot do everything for you. Trust me, you do not want to live out your days in some virtual reality game. There is more out there than social media, the evil you see in the news, constant banner ads trying to get your attention, and there is even more than fantasy football. Go play some real football with your friends, outside in the Sun. Take some time to unplug, and when your ready to reconnect, Connected Home will be ready for the call.