With all the daily use both you and your technology go through as you struggle to keep up to all those important social activities, sometimes it’s good to take a break and check your gear from top to bottom. And not just the electronic gear, people. The world just needs to see what you had for lunch and your cute pet with paper hat pics immediately. However, if you’re not taking care of those digital and physical bits you use to blast your life all over the Internet, you may end up posting pics of yourself laid up sick for a spell instead. With that, here are a few Tech De-Stress tips to try out:
1. Clean Your Screen(s)!
You’d be surprised at how many people either never clean their phones or tablets or resort to merely wiping them on that trusty sleeve. Have you ever borrowed a device from someone or had a friend pass you his or her phone and you got a good look at it? Yuck. You can just feel your ear slide off the side of your head even before you get that phone anywhere close to it. If it’s a tablet, your fingers start tingling and freaking out on your hand because that screen looks like it was used to eat a pound of cheese fries off of. There are a few fixes for this, notably a good screen cleaning solution and a nice lint-free cloth. Products such as WHOOSH! Screen Shine are inexpensive, work really well and will give you some peace of mind you won’t get a piece of germ-packed gook stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be. Cats in paper caps are funny as hell. An ear infection or unwanted gunk under a fingernail from your own or a borrowed device? Not so much fun. Just hell.
And, say there… how often do you wash your hands? Clean hands on a clean screen is the best way to go these days. Especially with people in public wheezing and sneezing every day of the year thanks to assorted allergies, colds and other germ-spreading talents.
2. Kill The Lights!
If you’re a PC gamer or someone who does a lot of keyboard jockey stuff, you may own one of those fancy keyboards that light up, change colors and pretty much look like a small disco floor landed in front of your computer. Lighted keyboards are cool, but unless you’re trying to give yourself a seizure or make your pet knock that keyboard off the table and play with it, kill those lights and stop playing in the dark. You’ll be doing your eyeballs a favor, the cat will chill out and your neighbors won’t think you’re running Laserium out of your bedroom.
Of course you’re taking care of your eye health, right? Leafy greens, citrus, berries, almonds, a bit of Omega-3 — All of these and other healthy foods are good for eye health. While some studies have shown gaming is actually good for your eyesight, that’s not a license to stay up all night in front of that TV or monitor. If you do game or use your devices frequently and notice your eyes straining to keep up, consider having those peepers looked at by a ophthalmologist on a regular basis. Also, purchasing a pair of Gunnars might be a cool idea.
3. The Ears Have It!
Let’s talk sound for a second. Have you had your hearing checked lately? What? I said, HAVE YOU HAD YOUR HEARING CHECKED LATELY?! Seriously. According to the CDC, in 2013, “an estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6–19 years (approximately 5.2 million) and 17% of adults aged 20–69 years (approximately 26 million) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.” That’s not so good to hear. Reasons for this are clear, with one source mentioning everything from music players allowing people to listen to longer playlists to earbuds and headphones that drive sounds directly into the ear canal.
Now, we don’t want you to not listen to music, watch movies or play games at a decent volume. However, seeing a specialist at least once a year and getting recommendations as to the best way to keep your hearing from going the way of the dinosaur? That’s something gamers of any age need to consider. If you’re all about that bass, you’d better make ear health a priority or there’s going to be treble down the road.
4. Have a Fit Sit!
So, just what are you sitting on when you’re doing all that cat pic posting, gaming and other stuff? There’s a really good chance you’re wrecking your back as you squirm around on that “comfy” couch, chair or other sit-shaped torture device. And if you’re the type who stands up a lot when you do all that posting, you’re not too much better off. Prolonged sitting or standing can lead to numerous health issues, none of which are good. So, what to do about this problem we all face?
Standing workstations such as the ones from Focal Upright Furniture are one solution if you have the capital handy to buy into them. If you travel a lot and/or do a lot of work while standing outdoors or while in long lines for whatever reason, consider a less expensive but quite effective Mogo portable seat. You can also check out some great backache reliving tech in the form of Valedo, a device that can help you train your back pain away.
5. Clean Out ALL Your Hard Drives!
When was the last time you cleaned up your computer’s registry? If the answer is “I don’t know” or “Never!”, you’re probably experiencing a number of problems. Slow connection speeds, sluggish media performance, constant error messages and other problems will plague you if you don’t take care of that computer on a regular basis. While phones and tablets seem to be more prone to network issues and the performance drops that come with erratic connections, home PC’s need a lot more love. Free programs such as CCleaner are wonderful at what they do and come highly recommended for basic program removal and the necessary registry cleaning afterwards.
If you’re a heavy computer user in need of a boost, stay away from those As Seen on TV deals (which aren’t deals at all) and just go with iolo’s awesome System Mechanic or System Mechanic Pro. Both provide virus protection, complete system cleaning and other features that insure your system will stay healthy longer. As with exercise, things get better the longer you stick with it, and the cost is far less than replacing or repairing a computer with assorted hard drive issues.
As for your upstairs hard drive (your brain), it’s suggested that you do a digital detox every now and then just to Tech De-stress yourself. Sure, you’ll miss out on someone’s food cat paper hat photos and maybe even an “important” status update that’s not as important as you think in the grand scheme of things. Pressure to always be online and “on” is a big factor in everything, from people putting both feet in their mouths online to plenty of public stupidity you’d avoid in the real world. So get off your butt and outside without a device once in a while. Even if it’s a 10- to 15-minute walk around the block, you should just wake up and smell the roses without feeling the need to take a picture of them and post it for all to see.
Edited by: Avery Osborn and Alex Miller
Don’t Just Be Fit. Be Gamer Fit.