Technology has progressed leaps and bounds since the turn of the century, and with these fantastic advancements comes a new issue: tech anxiety. This is a newly developing strain of anxiety that can be traced back to high levels of technology usage, especially regarding virtual communication. It’s true that our phones can now be used for communication anywhere and at any time, but this constant connectivity can do us a lot of harm when not wielded properly.
We each get a considerable amount of screen time per day, many of us with over 8 hours clocked in on average according to the Council for Research Excellence. Whether you conscientiously recognize it or not, all of that texting, calling, video watching, and general web surfing can have pretty adverse effects on your psyche.
For example, think of the anxiety that accompanies awaiting a return phone call or text message from an upset friend or partner. Picture the negative emotions that come when you can’t get a free moment to yourself without a buzzing alert provoking a response. Imagine trying to cut contact with someone while knowing that you had the full ability to contact them at any given moment during the day. How about when you receive a meaningful message or voicemail only to be unable to respond due to work or other obligations? These are only the most extreme cases, but similar scenarios of a lesser caliber happen to each one of us on a fairly regular basis.
Technology can cause the onset of a lot of unnecessary stress if you leave it unchecked. However, it’s important to remember that any kind tech anxiety is entirely avoidable if you know how to handle it. Hence the active title; here we’re going to cover some simple strategies to help you minimize any stress that your gadgets may be causing.

1: Strive for More Face-to-Face Contact
We’ve detailed in many other articles that face-to-face social interactions have a lot of psychological benefits. Sadly, virtual communication doesn’t share these same perks; instead it’s all the work without any of the benefits. What’s more, contemporary studies have found that approximately 50% of e-mails and text messages are misinterpreted regarding tone. All of this can lead to a collective mess of problems (including tech anxiety), but they can all easily be avoided by taking care of important business face-to-face.
It’s also been proven that an in-person conversation helps both parties convey their meanings and feel more connected to one another, strengthening relationships and streamlining the communication process. The only benefit of technological conversation is the ease of access, and admittedly sometimes it’s just not possible to meet face-to-face in order to relay information. However, communicating in person is should always be the preferred method whenever available.

2: Spend Time Away from Your Phone
This may be a remarkably underutilized trick, but it does wonders for relieving negative emotions caused by virtual communication. Think back; when was the last time that you were separated from your phone for an extended period of time? (And no, showering doesn’t count!)
The truth is that many of us – especially millennials – have our phones on hand at any given moment during the day. While this may seem to be a convenient habit, it’s anything but harmless. Having your phone attached to your hand instantly opens the door for tech-related stress, and this can completely counteract any convenient benefits that the practice may yield.
The solution? Leave your phone at home for a day. Toss it in a drawer, lock it up, and carry on with your life. I guarantee that the world won’t end without having it at your beck and call, and I further guarantee (from abundant personal experience) that you’ll feel a lot better after doing so.

3: View the Situation Objectively
One of the biggest problems with virtual communication is that tone is very commonly misinterpreted. What’s more, other problems such as ‘ignored’ messages and repeated calls can often easily be misconstrued. Conversing over the phone follows different rules from face-to-face contact, and often the use of ‘improper’ procedure or etiquette leads to bigger problems.
The best example I can give is in the case of an ignored message. Imagine that you sent a text to somebody asking them for a date only to get no response. What would you do? Most people would be pretty stressed out in this situation without ever contemplating the many potential reasons. Perhaps the other person was busy, or lost the phone, or maybe the message sent incorrectly altogether! Any one of these reasons could be behind your perceived rejection, yet many people never look beyond their own hurt feelings and stressed out psyche.
For tech users this skill is an absolute necessity. There are plenty of ways that things can go wrong when communicating virtually, and any one of these roadblocks has the potential to spoil a perfectly good social exchange. Imagine all that you could throw away by overreacting in the previous situation. Even worse, imagine all of the stress that you could cause yourself, especially if there was a perfectly innocent reason behind the issue.

4: Breathe Deep and Relax
If all else fails, remember that any kind of virtual communication is never enough to really bother you. If you ever find yourself truly upset about a situation, go out of your way to find a more optimal way to communicate the message. If texting fails, give the person a call. If calling doesn’t work, meet them in person and fix the whole mess all at once.
If you and the other person don’t have enough time for each other to communicate better than texting or e-mail then the conversation probably wasn’t exceedingly worthwhile to begin with. The best suggestion in this case would be to just remove yourself from the situation in order to avoid any more unnecessary stress. It’s comparable to removing a Facebook friend; if you’re not worth the opportunity for real communication, then the relationship was arguably pretty meaningless anyway.
Remember, a virtual conversation isn’t worth all that much in comparison to face-to-face communication. Tech anxiety arises from situations that are usually almost meaningless anyway, so take a deep breath and relax. There’s no real risk to be worrying about in the first place; simply rearrange your priorities and you’ll find that you can rest easy in the face of your own technology.

Author's Bio: 

Dakota is the founder of, a website created to help visitors unlock their true potential and become more well-rounded in all aspects of life. When not writing or working on improving himself he spends his time making silly faces, creating merriment, and otherwise frolicking.