One of the primary goals of yoga is to cultivate a sattvic state, in which we feel serene, balanced and peaceful. Technology can be an obstacle to gaining those qualities, invalidating even our best efforts at equanimity. But it seems such an ingrained, inevitable part of our lives. What to do?
Here are the top behaviors and strategies I enlist to help me stay on track with technology while maintaining my peace.
Two Aspects of Technology You Can Control
Constant interruptions from technology contribute to an extraordinary waste of time and an increase in stress. After purchasing a new phone last year, I made some significant changes in how I use my phone. Because I’d begun to feel like I was always ‘on call’ and losing efficacy and patience, I made these simple alterations. It’s helped a lot.
Messenger be gone
I deleted Facebook Messenger and other Messaging apps from my phone and iPad. I still use e-mail and texting, but the last thing I need is an additional messaging distraction. I ask contacts who communicate via Messenger (or any messaging apps), to communicate by phone text or e-mail instead. I still use Messenger on the computer and I love connecting with family and friends, but limiting distractions on handheld devices has been a huge relief and timesaver.
I’m sensitive to noise and I prefer to not have distractions when I’m with people, whether the occasion be business or social. To that end, I’ve turned off most notifications on my phone. I use the vibration option as opposed to a ding or a ring. (Although I must confess, the GOT Peter Dinklage Theme makes me happy whenever I hear it. Check it out on YouTube if you are a GOT fan.)
Two Must-Have Items When You Aren’t in Control
Don’t lose it when you lose it
Hindsight is too late in the inevitable moment when you lose your data. It happens to everyone. Whether the data your care about is business or personal (financial, photos, journaling, recipes), there’s only one way to avoid the stress and heartache of losing it all: back it up.
Whether you use Mac or PC, your device comes with free back-up options and cloud services included in the operating system. For Mac, there is Time Machine. As for the cloud, you can use Microsoft’s OneDrive as a backup strategy. Mac and iOS users can use iCloud in the same way. These are free to a limit and if you exceed the limit, you then pay a small fee for extra backup. It’s worth every penny.
Other services you pay for that may provide additional security, like Backblaze, are also available. You can also use an external hard drive to back up data manually, but you’re only as good as your last backup, so that requires regular maintenance. If you’re likely to forget, then a cloud service (or both) may be the way to go.
Finally, on the topic of security and passwords, we’re all targets. It’s unfortunate, but you don’t have to be Yahoo, Equifax or Uber to be affected. If you aren’t using a password management program to control your passwords, that’s something you need to do. There’s a learning curve in using password management software, but it’s worth taking the time to learn. Once you do, you’ll never go back.
Password management software programs like 1Password, LastPass, and others not only work on your computer, they also have apps that sync across platforms, so whatever system you’re using, you’ll always have access to your passwords. In essence, all you need to remember is one key password to open your vault. Think of it as a safe deposit box: you only need one key to gain access to all your passwords. Every login you use, whether for banking, Facebook, shopping, etc. is unique, long, and safe. They are ugly, but it doesn’t matter, because you don’t have to remember them to type them; the program fills them in for you. You can even have them generated by the software.
When an entity you do business with is breached and you’re notified to change your password, you only need to change that one password. You don’t have to worry about being compromised on other platforms because you used the same password there—which is horrible idea, by the way! Remember, the good news is you don’t have to remember any of them. You only need to remember the ‘key’ password to your vault.
We’d love to hear more about the ways you maintain your peace around technology. What strategies are you using these days to reduce needless interruptions and remain sattvic?