Before the web, channel surfing was how humans addressed their innate Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). As Jerry Seinfeld put it, “[People] don’t care what’s on TV. They only care what else is on TV.”
Kleiner Perkins internet analyst, Mary Meeker researched how much time people spend in front of screens, and the numbers are startling: the average American spends 444 minutes a day (7.4 hours) in front of screens, including televisions, computers, phones, and tablets.
“Am I having fun? Better check WebMD to make sure.”
If you work on the IT service desk, you probably spend more time than the average person in front of a screen every day, because much of your work can’t be accomplished any other way. Medical researchers believe that too much screen time is bad for kids, but we’re not kids, and so it’s too late for us. However, sometimes we need to mentally take a step back and realize it’s time to step away from the computer. Here are 6 signs you could use some quality non-screen time, stat.
1. Your “Mouse Wheel Finger” Has a Callus
You thought it was funny when the pad of your mouse wheel finger became red and irritated from constant scrolling. But then you developed a callus and vowed to keep your scrolling under control. Not long after, your “texting thumb” developed chronic pain and stiffness so you had to learn to text with your non-dominant hand. Once you’ve mentally invented a foot-powered mouse that operates like a gas pedal, it’s time to give your hands (and your brain) a break.
2. You’re Shocked to Remember that Real Life Doesn’t Have a Ctrl-Z
While carrying all 15 bags of groceries into the house (because second trips are for losers), you manage to drop a dozen eggs on the kitchen floor. No problem, you’ll just hit ctrl-Z, right? Bzzt. Wrong. While ctrl-Z would be the ultimate real-life function, nobody’s figured out how to implement it yet. That’s why they still make paper towels.
3. You Realize You Just Tried to Skype Your Dog
The IT service desk has been just nuts today, and there’s no way you’ll be out of the office before 7 p.m. That means rescheduling your trip to the dog park with Bandit. You’re on Skype looking through your list of Favorites for Bandit’s profile picture before you realize that 1) He’s a dog and 2) He can’t use Skype.
4. You Try to Use Google to Find Your Car Keys
We use Google to find everything these days, from directions to the new dentist’s office to the lyrics of some long-forgotten song from the 70s. We do this so frequently that there’s probably a neurological HOV lane from the “Find Stuff” part of the brain to the part of the brain that says “Use Google.” As a result, it seems downright primitive to have to do things like retrace your steps and dig through the laundry hamper checking pockets.
5. Net Neutrality Becomes a Subplot to Your Dreams
You’re lying deep in blissful slumber dreaming about driving a convertible on a winding road that leads to a private beach where you’ll frolic in the surf with your beloved, and then it happens. A notice pops up reminding you that starting January 1, unsponsored dreams will be relegated to a slower neural network, and you can expect periodic buffering. But for an additional $29.95 per month you can upgrade to ultra-high speed broadband dream service and avoid this problem.
6. Your Weather App Has the Final Word
Maybe you had to immediately put on your sunglasses when you stepped outside to walk to your car. On the school playground across the street, kids are playing kickball. A landscaping crew is hard at work mowing, weed-whacking, and raking mulch into place. A bicycle zooms past, and the door handle to your car is too hot to touch. Yet you still look at your weather app’s radar screen to make sure it isn’t raining.
With the rise of consumer technology, everyone’s in danger of spending too much time in front of screens, neglecting the real world. And if your job is running the IT service desk, you’re even more prone to overdoing screen time. Make sure your help desk software is powered by Samanage, so problems can get resolved as efficiently as possible. With self-service features, built-in risk management, and integrated IT asset management, Samanage can help make sure that the time you spend in front of a screen at work is actually being put to good use.
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