Time for a tech break when you're spinning your wheels

Internet cafe in Berlin. Photo: Berlin cafe by Robert Reiz via Trover

Ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels?

Sometimes it feels like life is just rushing past. Suddenly it’s not summer anymore. Now we’re looking at Halloween and beyond to holiday plans! Yikes!

As far as my daily tasks go, I’ve been feeling the increasing pressure to keep up with all the new social media. Much of it is just plain fun. I love receiving new follower ‘tweets’ (do join the Drivetime Yoga-gal on Twitter: @tripwellness). As I’ve been learning more, it’s an impressive tool for discovering new ideas & friends. But I’m also learning it’s necessary to give all the doing a break.

For years on the road I’ve tried to be patient as drivers, friends, family, business associates would use our time together to visit with someone else. I still take the hands-free business call occasionally.  Perhaps I’m just an old fashioned stickler for etiquette, but regularly ignoring present company for an ear-bud gab-fest just doesn’t sit well. Also, all this multi-tasking is dangerous.

New research has come out showing that higher education doesn’t necessarily mean you’re better at multi-tasking. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the higher your education level, the higher the risk associated with cell phone use and text messaging while driving. Many are most likely doing so alone. Up to 85 percent of drivers have no passenger with them in the car, estimates the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

But when an adult passenger is present, the Transportation Institute found, he or she can enhance safety — and reduce crash risk by up to 50 percent — by keeping eyes on the road, or encouraging safer behavior.

That means that a friend or family member cajoling a motorist to put down the phone can provide a safety advantage, as long as the disagreement itself doesn’t escalate to the point of distraction. So discount the nagging and feel the love!

How about this:  Stop spinning your wheels? Enjoy your fellow travelers. If you need to take a call en route, keep it brief or return calls at your destination. Your conversations will be more effective too as you are better able to focus on the discussion.

Remember to breathe deeply, stretch often and live well.

Your fellow traveler, Elaine Masters