I love technology as much as the next guy, (hence being a Digital Lifestyle Contributor) but something clicked in my head this morning, are we more to addicted to technology than we care to admit? If you are like most people, your morning, nay, your ...and more »
Source: Chronicle News Network
Don't get me wrong. I love technology as much as the next guy, (hence being a Digital Lifestyle Contributor) but something clicked in my head this morning, are we more to addicted to technology than we care to admit? If you are like most people, your morning, nay, your life starts and ends with your smartphone. My morning routine might resembles yours, a real life a buzz feed video(I'll leave out the boring parts of using the bathroom, eating and showering). Wakeup at (insert time) and turn off the music from my itunes alarm clock, without thinking about it check at least three social networks for "news". Naturally, because my device is in my hand, I checked my emails accounts. While scrolling through email I notice things that needed to seen on a larger screen, which meant I need my laptop or tablet. While driving to work I plugged in my ipod to get me through the traffic. Eventually I made it to my office where I turned on the TV, reopened that same laptop (from earlier), booted up my desktop computer and started my job.All of these action have become such a normal part of my routines, it's almost like breathing. I'm sure you can relate in some form.
One Addiction Experiment
There was a challenge given to 200 University of Maryland students from a variety of majors: Abstain from social media for 24 hours. That meant no iPhone or text messaging. No laptops or netbooks. No chatting or Twittering. No e-mail and absolutely no Facebook. Ah, a return to simplicity. Here are a few student responses from the experiment; they might surprise you. "When I did not have those two luxuries(messaging and texting), I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable." "I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening." Another student had to fight the urge to check e-mail: "I noticed physically, that I began to fidget, as if I was addicted to my iPod and other media devices, and maybe I am."
Really, come on "physically fidgeting"? what are we drugs addicts? Is it really that serious, could going without a media hit be so unbearable that one would begin to lose control? This reminded of a particular cult classic about where people experienced similar symptoms, Requiem for a Dream.Ah the joys of getting social media high...but seriously, remember the feeling of your first retweet, like, share, email or whatever your social and technological drug of choice is.
We Forget, The Real World is so Beautiful.
I decided to take a little stroll without my smartphone during lunch. Euphoria, I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy the simple blessings in life. (Insert slow music) I looked at the clouds, saw birds flying around, listened to the rhythm of the traffic. There was something, dare I say, magically real about the experience. It's the raw and organic that a live feed, a Instagram filter or even a 4k image could not provide...it was life at its finest. Upon going back inside and plugging back in to The Matrix, I was hit with a thought, " Why did that feel so good?"
What is Your Point? I Can Quit When I Want!
I'm glad you asked, my point is that sometimes we need a technology detox. Research suggest that majority of people are using technology without even thinking about it. If we aren't conscious of what we are doing how can we possibly control it?Think about that for a moment. If that doesn't at least make you think, I really do not know what will.To be honest, I'm even feeling convicted as I write this article. I'm having a hard time fighting the urge, the urge to check my social media. I actually stopped writing a few times so I could post a few social updates.
Technology is not bad at all it's neutral. However, at the same time we must find a ways to unplug. Trying asking yourself three questions:1) Do I really need to be using my phone right now, how can I engage with the people around me?2) Set specific times to allow yourself to use certain technology3) Schedule time to be outside doing a physical activity a few days a week, think recesses when you were a kid. Remember, being aware of the addiction is the start of the healing process. The technology doesn't control us we control it.
Three Ways to Technology is Making You Dumber
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