Don't let the tech you love stress you out

Android dudes
Android dudes (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

A side effect of having the world at your fingertips is information overload. With every gadget and gizmo connected to each other, you can literally find any information you need with just a few clicks or taps or swipes. That's pretty amazing and a fine way to make the world a better place with all the understanding and critical thinking it brings. But we're not computers, and it's easy to get overloaded.

My phone can tell me whatever stupid thing some politician said this morning (as well as the stupid things everyone else had to say about it) or how the next phone we'll be buying is missing a headphone jack or might not have 3D touch or that World of Warcraft gold is worth more than Venezuelan currency. It can also tell me what a great time friends had at the park or that the movie I wanted to see really sucks according to some guy I don't know who is paid to tell me movies suck. Then it gives me an avenue to add to the noise and voice my level of approval and/or astonishment about it all.

My phones tells me what I need to know as well as a ton of stuff I don't.

This is great stuff. Whether we find it all informative or entertaining, or both, it's pretty cool to be part of a worldwide discussion about politics or movies or World of Warcraft gold and its economic impact. But eventually, we all get stressed because it becomes too much. This can and will have an effect. We've all seen that person we know have a spectacular meltdown over the dumbest shit. Sometimes, we've been that person melting down. Everyone has a breaking point when the noise becomes more than we can filter. But there's an easy way to break the cycle.

The power button.

We can't get away from stress. It's easy to say that these are stressful times and things will get better, but that's a lie. Times have always been stressful and we've been told things will always get better, but that ain't happening. Tomorrow will bring new problems and worries to go along with them, and we'll always have good reason to be concerned about the world around us. People in the U.S. are worried about health care and people in Venezuela are worried about economic collapse and people in Syria are worried about getting killed. These are important issues we all should be thinking about and discussing, and if you're directly affected it's natural to be afraid. It's also natural for anyone to feel hopeless or compassionate or angry. Or a mixture of the three.

Just don't get so consumed from the sidelines that you stop making things better. And when the unimportant noise tries to suck you in, know when to say enough is enough and turn it off for a while.

Information can be addictive. So can the technology that delivers it. Do yourself a favor and shut it all down once in a while. Facebook will still be there when you come back.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I couldn't agree more.
  • Thank you! I,lol take a time out.
  • Great and important article, thanks!
  • I like to turn off email alerts on my cell and only deal with them when at the PC. This cuts down a LOT of being on my cell during the times I am not between the chair and keyboard. I always set my cell to DND (do not disturb) when I am going to busy or sleeping so that is a little more reprieve from the constant ding, vibrate, ringgggg. lol
  • We got a tough season ahead with either Lynch or Sieman
  • I haven't read this article since my devices are all off.
  • Well written and to the point. Amen brother!
  • Take a cruise, and leave the phone at home.. that's my favorite escape.
  • The best advice we could ever get, this from a guy who knows what stress is and realizes what really matters and makes life important. You're an amazing human being Jerry thank you for your wisdom bro
  • Jerry I ******* love you. Thanks for being so awesome for so many years.
  • Do not disturb mode is one of the best things that Google ever created for use on Android devices.
  • Disclaimer : I will read the article after posting this. I have a BlackBerry Priv, I love it. And when it does all the things that it's known for that are bad, it stresses me out beyond belief. I just popped my sim back in my Nexus 5X. Ok I'm going to read the article now. Flicked via the BlackBerry keyboard on my Nexus 5X
  • Great article Jerry! I recently turned my phone off during a 3 day trip to the coast. I was amazed at how much not having my phone helped me be in the moment and focus on those around me. Didn't miss being connected nearly as much as I thought I would.
  • Yes! Turn off the notifications, disconnect for a while and look around.
  • My problem isn't information overload, it is problematic hardware. My Note 4 took the last straw, and no longer exists. Talk about stress relief!
  • I recently dumped all my social media accounts and deleted the apps. That reduced my stress and time wasted greatly. Now only folks who have my # or email address can contact me. I'm much more focused on living in the moment now.
  • Welcome to the club of dwindling population. I cannot remember the last time I used a social media app.
  • Thanks Jerry. I could relate to that.
  • It helps that due to the goals and business outlook of Zuckerman, and due to the privacy violation scandals, I always feel kind of dirty when I look at Facebook. So that keeps me away from it.
  • Never got into Facebook and don't think I'm missing a thing. Great article and Bader has had a similar article or two also...thoughts that are worth repeating.
  • I think I strike the right balance between wanting to know if a lot of people Liked me, hating everyone equally and keeping away family and friends. And people think I'VE got issues!!
  • Completely agree with Jerry! I try and "disconnect" for at least a full day or two once every few weeks.
  • Well said Jerry. True words of wisdom. I had to uninstall Facebook after an event last year because it was stressing me out so much. When chatter died down somewhat, I reinstalled. But I've turned notifications off for FB and many other apps to reduce my stress levels. Also always important to not stress about things we can't control. Not easy.
  • I seem to be reading a lot of columns and hearing people speak a lot about getting away from the constant assault of information through their phones. People are stepping back from Facebook and Twitter, turning off news feeds, and making a conscious effort to not photograph/video every moment of their lives. I hope we've gone past the peak of the social media information age. I certainly did some time ago, but it's still difficult to achieve a healthy balance between things my phone can offer me that are genuinely useful and too much information.
  • After deleting my Facebook account 4-5 years ago I found that I used to spend too much time on it. Now my times wasted on news sites or mobile central. Which I think is better than that Facebook crap. But I never turn my phone off. Well no body calls or texts me so there's that, lol.
  • Good point/read!...Thanks for this.