Are you on the Internet frequently? Do you routinely stay online longer than you intended? Are you often preoccupied with thoughts of the Internet? Is your smartphone always by your side, at the ready to send a text or check e-mail? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you may have a problem.
In the May issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin, Sharon Nelson and John Simek write about Internet addiction and compulsive use of technology. Here is what they suggest to maintain your sanity, your health, and your relationships:
- Avoid giving your cell phone number to clients except in rare circumstances;
- Specify when you will respond to e-mail in your retainer agreement. Also explain your e-mail reply policy during extended absences;
- Private time for you and your family is sacred. Try to turn computers off and put smartphones away after dinner;
- Guard vacation time. If you must check in with the office, limit the time you spend on work to a set amount of minutes per day – the rest can wait;
- Create similar rules at work. When you need to focus on a project, power-off your phone and turn off e-mail notifications.
In short: Get Unwired or Come Unglued, a very apt title for Sharon and John’s article.