We’re not neanderthals here at Swank Life. We like technology as much as the next guy, but there’s a time to play and a time to put it away. Are you the dude at the bar who misses the hot looking girl across the room because he simply MUST check his social media activity for the sixth time in three minutes? Do you develop a nervous eye twitch when disconnected from the Internet for more than a few moments? Does the idea of shutting all connectivity down for an entire hour make you break out in hives?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re an idiot. Seriously. Life is what goes on outside the little box, not inside it. Upon reflection, maybe idiot is too harsh. There’s a good chance you might be addicted, and what do we do to addicts? Everybody together now, “Shoot them!” No, we’re just kidding, of course. We try to help addicts, that’s what we do.
But how do you know if you’re addicted to technology? We hear there are good psychiatrists that could answer that question. Until then, here are some odds and ends to ponder.
A behavior is an addiction if it interferes with normal body functions like eating, sleeping, using the restroom, or social and family relationships like interacting with actual people or conducting your daily business. Slaves to addiction suffer the worst kind of psychological or physical trauma when forced to stop the habit. Here’s a test. Turn off your phone and put it away for a solid hour. We bet more than a few readers nearly swallowed their tongue at the mere idea!
Online is such a wondrous place. We can get addicted to gambling, shopping, porn, chat rooms, and social media all from the nonjudgmental and comfortable surroundings of our own living room. A technology addict is likely to:
1. Lie about exactly how much time he or she spends online – the estimate is usually waaay low. Has your use been steadily increasing over time. Addict!
2. Your Internet relationships feel better and more rewarding than real life ones.
3. Real life performance at your J-O-B gets progressively worse.
4. No matter how fast of a connection you have, it’s not fast enough, damn it! Watch out for that aggression, too. Classic addict response.
The bottom line is that technology addiction is real and can mess up a life as surely as drugs or alcohol. There’s probably some kind of 12 step program out there to help people overcome this problem but we don’t have time to do the research. Jake Swank says we gotta go update our Facebook status! (Image: Flickr | Symic)