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Advice on Successful Technology Use

Written by Jon Sindell

Dena Davis, administrator at a major university, oversees programs serving thousands of students but can't figure out how to program her cell phone. "It's like killing an ant with an elephant," says a stressed-out Davis of the techno-toys that are supposed to make her life easier.
 
Davis isn't alone: Widespread stress caused by technology has spawned a burgeoning subfield of  psychology, and inspired the noted book TechnoStress: Coping With Technology@Work@Home@Play. We spoke to psychologist Larry Rosen about what he means by TechnoStress.
 
 
TechnoStress Advice
Take care of your hardware and software, but as my co-author, Dr. Michelle Weil would say, you must also care for your irreplaceable Human-ware.
Learn in small bytes and enjoy the success you feel.
Realize that two-thirds of us are not eager about technology, and only a small proportion love it. Don't fall into the trap that you are the only one who doesn't get it.
Become the driver, not the driven. Set limits on the use of technology, particularly our uncanny draw toward multitasking.  
 
Success Television: What are the symptoms of TechnoStress?

 

Larry Rosen: Feeling frustrated, left out, falling behind, having trouble sleeping and more. There are actually seven types of TechnoStress, and each has its own symptoms.
 
Baby boomers are ... among the most TechnoStressed. They suffer from nearly all types, but most severely from Time TS, the stress that comes from trying to run your life as fast as technology runs; Communication TS, too many ways to communicate and too little connection; Boundary TS, the encroachment of technology on our personal physical space, including our concept of where technology ends and we begin; and Workplace TS, communication overload, information overload, steep learning curve, not enough time to master technology and so on.
 
Success Television: Are people rebelling against technology these days?
 
Larry Rosen: There are some small splinter groups and people advocating that we stay away from technology, but they are fading away. You can't resist it anymore. But you can set clear boundaries on the ways it impacts your life. You don't have to answer the phone or reply immediately to e-mail. You don't have to buy the latest gadget or learn the latest program.
 
Success Television: What advice do you have for people who feel overwhelmed by technology?

Larry Rosen: Realize that you are not alone. Alot of people are overwhelmed. You can't learn it all, nor do you need to learn it all. Find someone who is calm and can explain how something works. Try it. If you like it or feel it is adding value to your life, practice with it. Play and explore. Don't worry, you can't break it.

Do you live with a young techno-wizard?

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