The technology genie is out of the bottle and we cannot put the genie back. The question, then, is how to work with it.
We can let technology run amok in our lives. Chase after the latest gizmo / gadget / Something As A Service. Pretend that the latest offering from Big Tech will fix everything. Wait for the next spunky unicorn tech company to show us a new way.
We can ignore threats to privacy and security until there is no privacy or security in our lives. Companies and institutions can continue to gather every bit of data about our daily lives.
We can recognize that technology is not the answer. It is only a tool. We decide what is important for our wellbeing, not simply what app / service / next-new-thing is available. Use it to enhance your exercise but not dictate your exercise. Technology can be beneficial in nutrition but cannot replace your own involvement.
Perhaps most importantly, we must remove technology as an enabler of poor social behavior. Every human being deserves respect and love. Even the jerks. If technology has removed you from Life perhaps it is time to govern more closely technology in your Life for your own health and wellbeing.
Think About Technology More Broadly
What guidance do you use to decide what information to share? When do you share your Social Security Number? What apps can locate you on your smartphone? There is a constant want for your data but only you can decide what to share. Begin by setting up guidance for your privacy decisions. Win by sticking to them!
Reliance On Technology
It is literally getting to the point where folks rely on technology to tell them when to sleep and when to wake up. There is an app for just about everything. Take charge of your own wellbeing and ask yourself why an app or some tech is necessary. Is the answer because of your lifestyle or something in your Life? Reflect on what you want. There is nothing wrong with using tech as a tool... but it should be your choice and not just a convenience.
What Do You Want?
You are in charge of your health and wellbeing. No technology can make you a better or healthier person. YOU can use it to improve yourself, promote harmony in your life, better manage your activities. But YOU decide based on what YOU want... not on what tech is available or affordable.
Technology Thought For Your Wellbeing
We can’t blame the technology when we make mistakes.
Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web. He has certainly been pivotal in the evolution of the Internet and related technologies. Sir Berners-Lee has also been a critic of its misuse. Technology is just a tool. How we use it depends on human decisions and values. The role it plays in your health and wellbeing must be a conscious decision. Otherwise, the role it plays will be define without you.
HealthCare Too Articles on Technology
There are so many benefits (and risks) from modern technology. HealthCare Too has put together articles to help you explore the benefits and avoid potential harm. Enjoy these articles with our blessing!
Setting Goals For Technology
A common framework for goal setting is the SMART goal. Each letter in the acronym represents a component of a good goal.
Specific: A goal should help you focus on something specific. Instead of setting a goal for “exercise more” you can break it down into components. This is an opportunity to choose to use an app as well as remove a technology. The choice is yours! Look at your total wellbeing and pick something specific that would make you happy. Perhaps a goal to establish boundaries for your privacy. A specific privacy goal now can become a mastered behavior with practice and protect you as tech continues to change!
Measurable: Once you have a specific goal you can establish a way to measure it. The measure should be easy to use; otherwise, you won’t use it. Following the earlier goal to establish privacy boundaries, you can start with something easy like settings on your smartphone.
Achievable: New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. One of the top reasons is that they are so distant that we give up. Make your goals achievable so that they stretch you but not break you. If you are just starting to take control of your privacy, don’t jump into the deep end with confusing compliance frameworks like HIPAA or detailed vulnerabilities. Start with the basics; understand what is important to you and learn as you progress.
Relevant: Your technology goals should be relevant to everything else in your wellbeing. Use tech and share data that promote your sense of security and wellbeing. Where that is not the case, look for ways to reduce / eliminate a technology. You are a total person and your goals should support you… Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Timely: Put a time frame around your goals to which you can commit daily. A goal that is months or years into the future is more like a wish. Set your tech goals for something you will do daily or at least weekly such as a weekly review of your smartphone privacy settings.
In addition to our articles you may find these resources useful:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is probably the most familiar and least understood health information compliance framework. Here is guidance for individuals from the Federal Government.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also offers recommendations for consumer digital security.
- Consumer Reports also provides a nice set of resources to help you take control of your security and privacy.