Everyone has habits they know are bad and wish they could move past, but sometimes it's just too much work, right? Always thirty minutes late to appointments? Check. Biting your nails? Check. House not as clean as it should be? Check. We all have our issues and we all want to be better about our bad habits.
So why not start with the most obvious bad habits. The habits we perform every day with our computers and phones and tablets. How about starting there? Below are the five worst tech habits of most people and suggestions on how to move past them.
Dirty hands and your devices
We are all guilty of eating while using tech of some kind, whether it is breakfast over a keyboard, tacos and your phone, or even browsing your tablet over dinner. These activities leave residue and film on the devices that will build up over time and can even cause a health risk. Consider the episode on Mythbusters when it was determined that both a used keyboard and cell phone had more bacteria colonies than a used toilet seat. Yuck. We need to keep these things clean.
The best way to combat the spread of plague from your phone or your computer isn't me telling you that you have to stop eating around your tech. we both know that will not happen. However, start keeping a container of electronic-cleaning product at your desk or where you most often use your tech. Get into the habit of wiping things down on a regular basis and then you can keep that burrito and Bejeweled marathon on the schedule.
Your equipment needs a little love, too
Dust is the enemy of electronics that we don't consider as much as we should. Dust will not directly damage your pc, printer or other standard device, but the buildup over time can increase the effects of excessive heat or cause quality issues with printing projects. If your dust problem is not handled with some regularity, the effects could cause mechanical failure.
Luckily, this is an easy problem to combat. All you need is a little compressed air, some time and a reminder to actually perform the cleaning. Maybe you can connect cleaning your electronics with changing the oil in your car or your air conditioner filter. Better yet, set a calendar reminder on your pc to tell you when to finally blow out all that dust.
Bad pc posture
No matter how many times we are told or how many ergonomic gadgets we attempt to make use of, bad posture is still a huge problem for pc users. The most common result of bad pc posture is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a form of neurologic syndrome called entrapment neuropathy. Even moderate cases of carpal tunnel will require surgery to remedy, so combating bad posture before it comes to this is a battle worth fighting.
Stopping bad posture is about making little changes to your environment and sticking to them. Your desk chair should sit at a height where your knees are at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. The monitor or monitors that you use should be set in a way that the top of the screen is even with your eye level. Lastly, your keyboard should be placed in a way that allows your wrists to be parallel with the floor.
Step away from the pc, please
Having good posture is a step in the right direction, but remaining seated - even with that good posture - for extended periods of time can be deadly. Your body was designed with movement in mind and staying stationary for too long can lead to blood clots. Another issue of prolonged pc use is eyestrain from staring at the monitors for extended time, which can lead to difficulties in driving for some.
The easiest way to combat the problem of sedentary pc use is to just get up and walk around occasionally. Give yourself a schedule and try to stick to it. Use one of the many apps or browser extensions that will notify you of extended pc use or schedule a timer to notify you every hour or two to just get up and walk around.
While technology has progressed to the point where daily reboots of your computer and other technology is no longer required, an occasional reboot from time to time is suggested. Programs and apps today are not always designed with the highest quality code and can sometimes lead to memory leaks and other destructive tendencies, which will require a reboot to remedy. Not to mention, many programs and apps require a reboot after an update or installation in order to operate properly.
The easiest way to handle the bad habit of never rebooting your system is to just shut it down from time to time before bed or after work or even during dinner. Most operating systems take much less time rebooting than the extended downtimes associated with older os versions.