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Your Brain on Tech: How Being Connected 24/7 Affects Us

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3 Quick Ways to Tame the Tech Beast

1. Turn off your phone from time to time. (See? Simple!) For instance, making a point of doing so when you sit down to a meal lets your companions know they have your full attention.

2. If you can't bring yourself to use the off switch, sign up for your carrier's usage-controls service (prices vary but are usually somewhere around $5 a month). Designate specific block-out times for, say, dinner or bedtime.

3. If you feel that friends or coworkers expect you to be connected at all times, use your Facebook status or e-mail vacation responder to announce that you are offline. Managing other people's expectations (meaning, that they should not expect to hear from you instantly) can give you a guilt-free breather.

Originally published in the April 1, 2011, issue of Family Circle magazine.