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Most people are so consumed by the routine and so enticed by the always on status that they indicate it has not affected their stress. They just see themselves as connected, dedicated and responsive.  But hat is part of how these boundaries are being broken down to begin with. These devices are very enticing it is very difficult for us to ignore whomever or whatever is causing that ringer to go off. Just like Pavlov’s dogs there might be a reward for our behavior, our response to external stimuli.  We might get a connection, a charge, a carrot or a stick or something that is life changing, exciting, good or bad, but that makes our juices flow…makes the endorphins pump and the adrenaline flow.  This is stimulation from outside of ourselves.

Successful people who don‘t burn out have realized that they need to set some boundaries.  That 24/7 accessibility requires the individual to make choices, set and enact priorities and discern obligations. Splitting attention can be and is often rude. Have you ever been in a shopping line where the woman behind you is having a loud conversation on their cell phone oblivious to the people standing around her? How about the guy in the meeting who is text messaging the entire meeting and paying no attention to anyone…why is her there? Then there is always the adolescent texting at the dinner table or the Dad texting at the basketball game.  The reality of presence is obscured. Being present doesn’t only mean being in the same physical location, it means being present socially, emotionally and cognitively.

So even if you are located at a distance you can be connected via some platform and seem, share and realty to people. Kind of…in a digital way. As long as you see what you believe and have faith in what you see. Not always easy in the digital environment. Also what about those 28% who take there devices to bed with them? IF you answer the device all night or even listen to it buzz you are hardly resting. Calls and texts at 2AM disturb the last bastion of boundaries sleep. There is not a time to turn off and rest to recharge and reignite the spark.

Many are unable to disconnect in another way. Psychologically they feel like they are always working. One of the most interesting feeling is one of being overwhelmed. This is often brought on by the inability to disconnect even when you are disconnected. If you are thinking about what you should be doing or ought to be doing online even when you are washing the dishes are you really disconnected? Online teachers often report a feeling of being totally overwhelmed, unable to disconnect, the feeling of always having to be “on”, of always needing to do something.

Boundaries are about our abilities to draw lines to make distinctions about the ability to guiltlessly say ”no”.  You need to be able to shut the door, turn off the device, and control your mind…quite time.  Then there is the other message, the reality of being afraid to say no…they person who has such low self-regard, they can’t turn off the outside world because there is so little validation coming intrinsically.

When you are constantly think little thoughts and responding by reacting to other when do you have a cancer to create, to imagine or thinking original thoughts. And maybe to an extent that is why we like to do it. It takes up our time, makes us feel connected and important but doesn’t really give us the time to allow us to be creatively product. To determine and do what is important to think Big and then act on it. We are always in reacting mode there is so little time for action.

So there is the good news and the bad news. Technologies have given us the ability to work anywhere but the bad news is that anywhere we are some of us fell we have to work. But there is another addictive factor here. Even if you think you want to disengage, and intellectually you know it might me good for you, there is a part of you that doesn’t want to slow down. It doesn’t really want to be “unplugged” or “offline”, because this is where we are getting our validation or conversation and our interaction. But in order to be successful and happy in the long run you must be able to be present, be focused and be in control of your own connections.