Not long ago, I had text messaging removed from my telephone, along with internet browsing features, and a host of other unnecessary items. I only have a telephone now, basic features include a ring tone and that is about it. It had reached the point in my life, where it was consuming my every waking moment. And then the government in their infinite wisdom gave telemarketers my number and that just about cinched it for me.
Most of my friends and acquaintances complain about my not paying attention to my telephone and always getting voice mail when they call. But I feel it is time to just be me, and leave all the other external stuff to those who not only feel they need it, but at the same time, demand it in their lives. This year, I am going to be one of the few that is slowly trying to pull away from the internet and its trappings that rob me of my time and provide me very little satisfaction.
With smart phones, tablets, and other digital devices reshaping how people work, communicate, and spend their free time, it is time to start to question whether or not our reliance on these items are affecting the way we think. Next year, for the first time “Internet Use Disorder” will be listed in the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.
Our dependence on these electronic devices has grown to almost epidemic proportions. Some of it can be explained by employers demanding more access to their employee’s 24/7 today. But let’s face it, there are a few who have a addiction to the information, data, and/or devices plain and simple.
I cannot remember a time in a cafe, where I have not been bothered by a cellphone conversation. I was at a funeral and the thing went off. The movies, the mall, you name it. We see people texting at stop lights, while driving, entire families sitting around with their nose’s in the devices and not talking to one or another.
I am on the computer daily, and actually feel some guilt or a twinge of anxiety when I am away from it. It is an addiction sure, but in some strange way, we are reforming our thought processes and the devices are slowly changing the way we think, and that is kind of scary.
When it comes to electronic devices some of us are exhibiting the same behavior of a cocaine addict, alcoholics, and other social misfits. We can actually feel depression and in some case, acute psychosis. The internet and these devices are slowly driving us completely mad.
Every time your phone, tablet, or computer pings with new text, tweet, or email, it triggers a sense of expectation, and the reward centers in your brain receive a pleasurable “squirt of dopamine.”
I am often totally clueless when it comes to the Information age, but I do know this, I can leave the cellphone on the cabinet in the kitchen for a week, and it doesn’t bother me one iota. I can unplug the computer for only about 72 hours, and I am working on that. The best thing is to just lay ‘em down, walk outside in the clean air and take deep breaths, it will all be waiting for you when you return.
One reason you won’t see me talking to this guy any time soon.
The solution is simple. Hang it up and shut it down to reclaim your life.