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Sunday 13 May 2012

Internet and Social Media Addiction: Is This My Life?

I was on the train the other day, and everyone around me --everyone-- was on their phones. Emailing, texting, tweeting, gaming, Facebooking.

And I know that's what life is now. But I'm certain that's not what life is.

And I get it. Adapt or die. Talkies followed the silents. DVD replaced video. Medicine replaced chopping people's legs off.

But I am certain the way we currently handle the boom in technology is harming us.

Or to be more personal: it's harming me.

Checking Twitter once a day would be adequate. Responding to things on Facebook only of a morning would be fine. But I'm on these things all the time. And it's become chronic. Books are long and boring, I wanna finish the chapter quickly so I can send a quirky tweet. I deal with a script writing problem by texting Carl a joke about tea.

And sure, we all need distractions. But we need to choose to be distracted, rather having the devices dictate our actions. Is there anything worse than instant notifications? I can't resist the text message beep, or the tweet mention icon in the corner of my phone.

I want to dream. I want to stare at the sky and wonder what it's doing. I want to look my family in the eye when they're talking to me.

Technology is a great gift, but also a huge hindrance. I don't need to check blog comments every nine seconds, once every day or two is fine. Why do we treat every single beep and vibration as if it's an air raid siren? We immediately act, dropping what's around us to focus on these little tiny devices as if to not do so will end in punishment.

I'm losing the battle and I've had enough. I'd rather be writing, reading, jogging, getting to know the person in front of me. If you really need me, you'll ring. Or knock on my door. Social media pretends everything is urgent. Truth is, the only urgent thing is to lead a good life in what is a painfully short ride. I don't want mine dominated by Facebook.

Tweet me your thoughts.


  1. Great last line. I don't even answer my regular phone (yes, I still have one) while I'm writing or doing something important with my kids. I downgraded to a regular cell phone - I don't really need the internet and email constantly.

  2. " I'd rather be writing, reading, jogging, getting to know the person in front of me".

    Exactly how I've been feeling. Live the life. Taking a break from all the other stuff, I hope, starting tomorrow (blog, I think too, partly) Mile 3 was easier today than any of the 4. Good music, good thoughts. Felt great. Helen Keller In Love...really good book.

  3. I hate it that my attention span is shorter than it was... But I also love the people I've met through social media. Getting the right balance so challenging...

    1. Yeah, I think it's a great tool -- but we misuse it.

  4. Great points here. Technology is slowly taking over our lives and I think it is becoming even more serious addiction than drugs since it's so common people don't really find it so odd anymore.

  5. It's up to us, really, isn't it? We just have to muster that willpower to not launch ourselves at the phone everytime a text alert sounds. I'm able to manage this sometimes but other times not so much =/

    Also, tumblr: that thing is like the blackhole for me.

  6. This is why when I go for a walk or jog, I leave my phone. I don't even miss it while I'm out. I take my Ipod and listen to books on tape on music, but that's it. I really enjoy those moments with just me, nature and whoever else is running on the trail.

    We've become slaves to the beeps and notifications; very Pavlovian. I make it a point to not even answer work calls on my phone once I go home now.

    I think my next true vacation will be a week away from this stuff.

  7. I understand what you're saying, I have the same problem with the twitter and facebook notifications on my phone, I really should turn them off. I could easily stay weeks off Facebook, but Twitter? If I don't read it for a day, I feel like I've lost track of time and am behind with so many news. Technology is really taking over my life....that's not so good!

  8. Great post; very funny and sadly true! I so agree. And that last line was a great touch.

  9. This is so true, although I cut down on Twitter a whole lot, only going on it now if I've seen someone has sent me a message. I still have the habit of checking my email way too often to see if there are new comments though.