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The importance of a tech – life balance.

I read an article earlier this week that said the average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications than they do sleeping.

The stats said we UK adults sleep for eight hours and twenty one minutes but use media or communications for eight hours and forty one minutes.

Now I’m not entirely sure what ‘media or communications’ means but I assume it’s phones, computers, television etc. That seems like an awfully long time to be doing these things. I was surprised.

But my surprise at this figure was a teeny tiny fraction of my surprise when I saw that adults are sleeping for that long. Eight hours and twenty one minutes. Who are these people? What time are they going to bed? And if it’s not 9pm or earlier how do their employers feel about them turning up late every day?!

I dream of sleeping this long. Well actually I don’t dream of it, I haven’t the time during the six hours I get per night on average to dream about it.

Clearly I’m doing something horribly wrong. Sleep is one of my favourite things and yet everyone else in the UK appears to be doing it far more than me.

The point of the article was not for me to become consumed with jealously over other people’s sleeping habits of course. Instead the point being made was that we use technology more than we sleep. That may be a good thing, it may be a bad thing. Depends on whether or not you have shares in Apple I suppose… 😉

But good or bad there is no doubting that all this screen staring and finger prodding is not what humans in our current form evolved for. Perhaps in a few thousand years we’ll be better at coping with it but at the moment we haven’t moved on much physically from bows and arrows and castles.

So if you’re going to be online a lot the message is make sure you take time out and look after yourself. The clever cruise line I was reading about has teamed up with one Randi Zuckerberg (yes a relation) who is something of a leading light in the tech-life balance world.

Between them they have come up with spa treatments with very cool names like ‘Texticure’ and ‘Control Alt Delight’. Other than in name these treatments are not unique. Giving your hands and face special attention has been around for quite some time. But the message from this collaboration is an important one. When you’re on holiday don’t let technology fill every moment. Don’t text during a meal, don’t play angry birds while on a sunbed and don’t feel the need to check in everywhere you go. There’s no need to go cold turkey but a balance is a healthy choice.

This isn’t to say I don’t think hotels should have free Wi-Fi by the way. Far from it. They all should have it unless they have a very good excuse. The control needs to be self control and I can promise from personal experience that if you have a few days at a nice hotel and don’t let your phone or laptop come with you to the pool or restaurant, you might just manage an eight hour and twenty one minute sleep.

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