Emotional Intelligence and Technology
Technology is a great servant but a bad master.
Technology exists for the purpose of making life simpler. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many, if not, most people. Whether it’s chronically checking to see how many likes or followers you have on a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or chronic text messaging in group chats, the use of technology consumes a lot of our time. In some ways, technology has made life easier but in other ways, it’s made life more complicated and stressful. Miscommunications or emotionally charged dialogue in text messages or on social media have affected relationships for the worst. Many people overthink situations, worry excessively, or misread a person’s feelings, which inevitably leads to miscommunications and relationship drama. In addition, studies have also shown that the dependence on technology undermines self-awareness, weakens one’s ability to self-regulate, reduces one’s ability to show empathy, and diminishes social skills. This should be alarming to all of us given the shift our society has taken.
Here are 2 suggestions to keep you or the people you know from getting absorbed by a culture of technology and social media.
- Get aware of your technology use.
Be mindful of how reliant you are becoming on your cell phone and how tied up your well-being is with the number of followers you have or likes you receive on social media.
Here are some questions to consider:
-Assuming it’s not essential to your work or school, how hard would it be to leave your phone in the car when you go to work/class or to not using social media for a day, a week, a month?
-How hard would it be? For some of you, this is not even an option.
-Why is it not an option? Is your reason legitimate? Is it getting in the way of what you should be doing that will affect your future like professional development or academic studies?
Take some time to reflect, journal or talk this out to get aware of how technology is affecting you and your life’s direction. Remember that you cannot change that which you don’t acknowledge so be courageous enough to face it.
- Cultivate healthy and trusting friendships with actual face time (and not the I-phone face time) with people. This ensures that your only or main form of communication is not through technology. One of my long held assumptions is that people know what healthy and trusting relationships look like. I no longer make that assumption. Here are a set of characteristics that you can use to evaluate and set a standard for your close and intimate friendships. I refer to them as CASUAL friends. I developed this concept based on the casual friends term, but casual friends are defined as friends that provide a sense of comfort and safety to be yourself.
Clear Up Assumptions and Clarify Expectations – Have the courage to have a conversation with your friend instead of making up a story about a situation.
Admit Their Wrongs and Accept Your Individuality – They own their mistakes and respect your choices.
Secret Keeper – They protect your confidences and also refuse to share the confidences of others.
Undivided and Word Honoring – They remain the same person no matter what and keep their promises.
Avoid Judgment – They put themselves in your position and don’t make themselves superior to you
Limits – They know how to treat you and know what’s okay and what’s not okay in a relationship with you.
For the elaborated conversation on healthy relationships and cultivating self-awareness which will help to be proactive against and offset the negative effects of social media, you can check out the book Bridge the Gaps – Lessons on Self-Awareness, Self-Development and Self-Care. Visit the website www.thebridge330.com.
Guest Blog by, Jonathan Frejuste, EQi Coach