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Get a handle on your digital life quick. It’s much easier than dealing with a mouthful of stress-induced ulcers later on.

Technology in various forms has always been an important part of our lives. But ever since it took the Web route and “smart”ened up all our gadgets, it has not given us a moment’s respite from information and the desire to acquire all of it. The result of this dominating digital life? Monstrous amounts of stress, much of it going unchecked because you aren’t often aware of its accumulation nor do you take regular measures to counter it.

You can’t turn back the clock, but you can and should change course midway to work toward a stress-free digital lifestyle, by preventing stress in the first place. The following steps are a good place to begin.

information-overload

Clarify Your Digital Priorities

What do you want to get out of the Web, your computer, phone, tablet, and all the gadgets you have? If you put that in succinct terms, you’re likely to see that there’s a lot of digital paraphernalia you use because you happen to have easy access to it or because you have used it for so long that you can’t imagine living without it. A vague understanding of your digital needs is at the root of your haphazard use of related technology, which in turn leads to stress.

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If I had asked myself last year why I need the Web, my answer would have been, “Um, everything?”. No wonder my browsing habits were out-of-control and driving me crazy. Same question this year, and my answer? I need the Web:

  • To write for MakeUseOf and my personal blog
  • To keep in touch with a select group of people
  • For banking
  • To read for pleasure and to hunt for information occasionally

Accordingly, my Web usage is no longer frenzied and stressful. I must admit that the week-long digital sabbatical What Happened When I Went Completely Offline For A Week What Happened When I Went Completely Offline For A Week Living in the Internet era has changed us to such an extent that the idea of having to live completely offline even for a little while sounds like a prison sentence. But it really isn't. Read More I took last December helped me look at the Web from a fresh and better perspective.

Reduce Stress

Define your digital needs one by one to gauge if your digital life is in alignment with your digital priorities are in alignment with your ideal lifestyle. Now restrict your gadget and Web usage to what’s required to take care of these priorities.

Set aside dedicated time to explore the mysteries of technology. Unless you do so, out of curiosity and without your knowledge, your entire day is spent loitering around the Web or fiddling with some piece of tech. With a roadmap on hand, you can leave the extras behind and get the best of the Web 4 Solid Ways To Get The Best Of The Web 4 Solid Ways To Get The Best Of The Web The Web is a a gigantic labyrinth. If this digital minefield leaves you overwhelmed and anxious, adopting the following simple mantras can act as a tonic and help you manage your Web space better. Read More . Also, if you want to escape a technology rut Caught In A Technology Rut? 5 Simple Tips To Break Free Of Old Habits Caught In A Technology Rut? 5 Simple Tips To Break Free Of Old Habits It can take a lot of time to keep up with cutting edge news, so we grow lazy and complacent with what we have. We end up settling for that which is less than ideal. Read More , we have some answers for you.

Have An Antidote Ready

There’s no dearth of haters on the Web. Some of us are capable of ignoring these negative elements and moving right on, while some of us can’t. It takes a thick skin and a healthy dose of detachment to survive and thrive online. The bottom line is that if you don’t learn to handle the poisonous side of the Web, it can affect you at a deep, personal level, more so if you’re a sensitive person already. You can avoid that side of the Web completely, in which case you’ll also miss out on a lot that is good, or you can practice taking it in your stride.

poison

You can filter your Web experience somewhat to keep the trolls at bay, but it’s more difficult to do so when they are not total strangers, but belong to your circle of family and friends. In any case, learning to calmly and sensibly deal with any kind of criticism or provocation when you’re online will help you stay sane.

Treat Tech Like Just Another Tool

Until a couple of decades ago, we considered technology as one part of our lives, and not always the most important one. That’s not the scenario now. Digital tech has become a basic aspect of life as health, relationships, career, etc. are, to the extent that sometimes we’re less worried about security or privacy than we’re about preordering a gadget or snagging a vanity url. This is not a criticism, rather a feeling of sheepishness.

To put a stop to the unparalleled domination of your life by various kinds of technology, especially Web-related ones, you have to revert to seeing tech as a means to an end. Know that technology exists to make life simpler for you without taking it over for you or turning you into an automaton.

swiss-knife

Good Tech, Bad Tech

Tech itself is not bad. Our abuse of it is.

Trying to put your health and life back together after they have disintegrated under the onslaught of technology is a long, painful process. For your own sake, it’s best to prevent things from deteriorating to that extreme. To wrest control of your life from technology, you don’t require drastic changes, just smart ones, as outlined here.

Are you a master at keeping technology from overpowering your life? How do you manage it? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: Aaron Jacobs via Compfight cc, joelogon via Compfight cc, eamoncurry123 via Compfight cc, Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc, shawnzrossi via Compfight cc, pennuja via Compfight cc // All images are derivatives of the originals

  1. rustyraptor
    August 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I can be considered a troll myself at times. So I cannot relate that easily.

  2. Chaim B
    June 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I agree that perspective is important. But the web doesn't have to be stressful; you're not bound to it, rather it is your portal to a broader world.
    Adopting a proper mindset can transform a stressful menagerie of beckoning tasks and goals into an opportunity to create, learn, explore, and share that begins and ends exactly when you want it to.

    • Akshata
      June 29, 2014 at 4:57 am

      Exactly, Chaim. Adopting a proper mindset is the equivalent of finding and sticking with a new perspective, so we're in agreement there :)

  3. Kishor B
    June 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Of late, I've been using my laptop a lot, and quite a few headaches have followed. I'll keep these tips in mind!

  4. alice
    June 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is wha­ I do

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