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Welcome to Maryland Employment Lawyers Association

MELA is the Maryland affiliate of the National Employment Lawyers Association, an organization comprised of attorneys who primarily represent employees in labor and employment matters. MELA members are attorneys who dedicate 60% or more of their employment practice to representing people, not companies.

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Workplace Fairness Weekly »

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Technology Addiction: Do You Own Them or Do They Own You?

 ·Don't check devises first.

· Do start with goals.

· Do distinguish urgent vs. important.

· Do remember there is an off button.

I saw a recent survey by Intel that found 44% of us are anxious when we have to travel without cell phones, computers or tablets. My immediate reaction? That the percentage was too low. That's why I'll be talking about tech addiction, why this is clearly a problem and what you can do about it. Which reminds me of a recent wedding that I read about with a DJ and a large plasma screen on which text messages could be displayed. I'm guessing you're already seeing where this is going. Some guests sent nasty anonymous messages about other guests outfits and sizes. Eventually they had to turn off the text feed.

And you thought the only fight at a wedding was over the flower bouquet toss. Taming the technology beast isn't only an issue at weddings, each of us must sort it out daily. Think I'm overstating the addiction angle? Check this out, Slate had a survey that asked how long in the morning it took people to turn on a phone, computer or tablet. 8% said less than 1 minute. 31% said between 1 and 15 minutes. 39% of us had to connect within the first fifteen minutes after waking up. Only 20% took more than one hour. They even have a phrase to describe this, constant accessibility. I've listed three Do's and one Don't for technology sanity below.

Don't check devises first. Ever had a day where you looked up and it was 2 pm and you had no idea where your day had gone? Part of the problem is that when you start your day by diving into your texts, VM and email, you get pulled in whatever direction your latest missive pulls you. That's why I believe that you should start here…

Do start with goals. What are the two or three things that are most important to you, your job and your organization? Over the day, week, quarter and year? With these all clearly written down and updated, you should know exactly where you're going and how you'll get there. This should guide your efforts most of the time.

Do distinguish urgent vs. important. Sure there are urgent things that will need your attention. But normally it can slide until after you address the truly important stuff.

Do remember there is an off button. Just last week as I was scrambling to find my phone so I could answer it and my eight year old daughter Frankie reminded me that phones have an off button. The scary part. My older daughter Hallie did the same exact thing when she was that age.

As I was researching the topic of tech addiction, I came across an article that quoted an expert saying that tech is increase our anxiety and actually changing our personalities. The most interesting part, the article appeared in the Times of India. This is not unique to just workers in the US, it's a world wide phenomenon. Can tech disturbances at weddings be far behind?

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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