My name is John and I’m a tech junkie.
Sure, I rationalize my tech-addiction by telling myself that I can stop whenever I want. I tell others that, as a predominantly online entrepreneur, I must constantly be connected to be effective. The fact is, I get anxious when I’m not close to my phone or computer.
I tell others that, as a predominantly online entrepreneur, I must constantly be connected to be effective. The fact is, I get anxious when I’m not close to my phone or computer.
The fact is, I get anxious when I’m not close to my phone or computer.
Because I’m predominantly an online entrepreneur, my tech addiction is worse. It’s so easy to justify wasted hours online.
When I go to Twitter or Facebook to do my job, I can easily get sucked into the vortex of social media. A half hour passes before I realize I wasted a bunch of time seeing the awesome lives my friends, colleagues, and family memebrs curate for the world. The line between social media work and social media play is easily blurred.
I know I’m not alone.
Medical terms that were non-existent even five years ago are ubiquitous today. There’s tech neck, phantom vibration syndrome, smartphone stress, and cell phone sickness — just to name a few.
Many of us admit our addiction, but most don’t do anything about it. We often laugh it off.
How do you know if technology is running (and ruining) your life?
When you can’t do dinner without looking at your phone.
When TV trays first came into America’s stores in 1953 and Swanson took TV dinners to the masses a year later, no one predicted that nightly family dinners would become a thing of the past.
Gone are regular human interaction, conversation, and debate. Maybe this is why the arts of conversation and sane debate are lost.
If a meal without technology feels like a “last meal,” you may have a problem.
When you say, “You do it, too!”
A favorite argument of tech addicts is, “You do it, too!”
This is called infraction equivalence. While it may be true that the accuser is also the accused, the opposite is likely true. It’s easy for us to see the bad behavior in others and not in ourselves.
John 8675309 says, “First remove the computer out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to remove the cell phone out of your brother’s eye.”
When you look at your phone before you look at your partner in the morning.
If you must satiate your tech fix before your caffeine fix, you may want to rethink your relation with information. A lot can happen in the world when you’re “lights-out,” but it’s not important enough to rob you of the few remaining intimate or quiet hours of your day.
When you call in sick because 15 seconds isn’t long enough to make better decisions.
Binge watching got even easier when streaming services began automatically starting the next episode of my favorite shows. Before I know it, it’ll be hours past my bedtime before I say it’s time for bed.
If you justify playing hooky from work the next day because the TV makes bad decisions for you, it’s time to disconnect and make adult decisions on your own.
When it doesn’t happen if you don’t post it.
The Information Age technically didn’t start until about 1990. The TMI Age started in 2004 with Facebook, followed then by Snapchat, Instagram and too many social networks for any sane person to keep up with.
If you can’t do or think something without posting it online, you could be part of the problem. Do yourself (and the world) a favor and just live some experiences and keep some thoughts to yourself.
When you haven’t talked to your friend in months, but you know everything about them.
Technology is bringing us both closer together and farther apart. If you know every detail of your friend’s life, but haven’t talked with or been with them in years, you’re missing out on a major part of the human experience. You know, those human-to-human experiences.
Call your friend instead of texting. Spend time with your friend face-to-face rather than over Facetime.
When you can’t go a day without taking a picture.
There was a time when every aspect of our lives wasn’t photographed and the world existed just fine. In fact, pictures were novelties and expensive. If you can’t live your life without looking through a lens, you’re missing what exists in the periphery.
We benefit more from being in the moment than merely photographing it.
When you miss bills, but don’t miss video game releases.
When technology becomes more important than your responsibilities, you may have a problem. If you know the release dates of your favorite game better than your children’s birthdays, or if you can list the name of reality stars but not our presidents, it’s time to put the joystick down.
Virtual reality is fun, but you know what’s also fun? Reality.
When you ask your partner to cut back on necessities, but you can’t cut back on NFL Ticket or Amazon Prime.
The above was about giving up responsibilities for the sake of technology. When you migrate from giving up responsibilities to giving up necessities, you’ve reached a whole new level of tech addiction. This is exacerbated when you ask others to sacrifice and don’t make equitable sacrifices for yourself.
Successful people do more of what adds value to their lives and less of what doesn’t. Technology does add value when used appropriately. But it can also devalue and ruin our lives if we let it take over.
Let technology be the tool rather than you.