Navigating the ever-changing landscape of tech/human connectivity can overwhelm even the savviest of techies and frazzle even the most zen amongst us. So here are 10 rules to guide you toward digital happiness:
1. Be present: We tend to privilege whomever or whatever is happening virtually rather than the individuals in our physical midst, despite the significance of the body in forming bonds and communicating most effectively.
2. Practice good netiquette: The rules of technological engagement and virtual communication are in a constant state of flux, and most technologies are still too new for us to create a cultural consensus about best practices.
3. Make meaningful connections: Nothing makes us happier (or healthier) than connecting with our fellow humans — not fame, not beauty, not even money.
4. Create boundaries: You are more productive and efficient when you create the time and space to disconnect from work, however briefly.
5. Manage your virtual identity: Everyone knows appearances matter. And our virtual bodies leave a permanent legacy which radically multiplies our visibility.
6. Track your life: The “quantified self,” or “self-knowledge through numbers,” is a growing movement and way of life. This type of technology helps you to be more conscious of your habits and can provide much-needed motivation in crucial life areas.
7. Get organized: Paper may be on the decline, but clutter persists. With a little help from technology, it’s possible for even the messiest individuals to organize their lives.
8. Be efficient: More choices require time and energy and shift our focus away from other things that matter. Enlist technology to amp up efficiency and block out some of the noise.
9. Unplug: Create time everyday when you are fully tech-free. And turning off your phone (and other gadgets) will actually help you get more restful sleep.
10. Center yourself: There is value in our own company, uninterrupted by technology. Carve out some space when you can be alone. Allow yourself to clear your mind — and you might be surprised at how much more you have to say.
Read the entire article by Anna Akbari on CNN Tech at http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/05/tech/web/can-technology-make-us-happier/index.html
Anna Akbari, Ph.D. teaches in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is the founder of Sociology of Style, which blends social science and pop culture to take an intelligent look at image-related issues; and Sociology of Style Services (formerly Closet Catharsis).