Millennial Advice to Peers: Please Do Not Disturb

Do not disturb phone

It seems like we spend more time looking down rather than up these days. We flow through the motions of everyday life plugged into a tiny, mobile gadget — checking the scores of sporting events, chatting with friends or sending out emails. The enticing, rectangular object is becoming an addiction that we, as millennials, can’t seem to live without. Don’t let it fool you!

Although smartphones appear to be all fun and games, they can easily become a trap, transforming the average “hard worker” into the infamous “workaholic.” According to Memeburn, research shows that “our all-encompassing magical devices are ‘doing us in’ by adding an average of two hours work per day.”

With the average work day being between nine and 10 hours, employees choose to work “overtime” by as much as 460 hours per year using their mobile devices to respond to emails while not in the office. Memeburn explains that “smartphones and devices that have email enabled are owned by almost 90% of employees, and they access these email services almost 20 times per day.”

Think about last night . . . where was your cellphone when you went to sleep? If I had to guess, it was probably tucked in bed with you or lying right next to you on your bedside table. Am I right? Thought so. With mobile access, people go to sleep responding to emails and wake up refreshing their inboxes.

Identifying a workaholic:  Merriam-Webster defines a workaholic as “a person who chooses to work a lot: a person who is always working, thinking about work, etc.” Are you a person who happens to be an employee, or an employee who happens to be a person? In such a fast-paced world with high-pressure work environments, it’s becoming hard to tell the two apart. Technology allows individuals to work from outside their offices anytime, anywhere, making it difficult to escape from work, even when they are off the clock.

Leave it all in the office:  In order to succeed in your college or career, you must learn to recharge. Staying “plugged-in” 24/7 can result in a decrease of productivity and an enormous increase of stress. The Huffington Post states that “the human engine, like any other, runs on energy. The more you have at your disposal, the healthier you’ll be and the better you’ll feel and perform.”

Whether you’re on a family vacation or relaxing at home, set down your smartphone, iPad, or Tablet, forget about work, and enjoy yourself. It’s easy to get so caught up in our education and careers that we forget to set aside time for ourselves. There have been multiple occasions when I go out to dinner and notice a group of people eating “together” while all staring at a screen in their laps. Don’t let technology determine your work hours – you’re in control!

Smartphones allow us to be in the know at all times, but sometimes that’s not always a good thing. According to Careeralism, “it appears we are becoming addicted to being plugged into work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” So instead of keeping your head buried in a mini screen all day, look up for a change and engage in the life you’re living.

Michelle Pierce  Michelle Pierce is from Birmingham, Alabama, majoring in public relations at The University of Alabama. She is a writer and editor for Platform Magazine and an Account Executive for Capstone Agency.

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