Morning from Reno!
Not sure about any of you, but my summer seems to be flying by… July 4th is around the corner and my half Ironman is within spitting distance.
Today’s blog was prompted from an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal written by Daniel Sieberg about the overwhelming amount of gadgets and digital technology that we rely on. He describes our obsession with technology as a “digital diet” and makes it clear that far too many Americans are “being overrun by technology.” This was a fantastic follow up to reading The Shallows and as always, provides additional food for thought on how much we rely on our tech gadgets and is simply leading to an information overload.
My favorite example was Sieberg sharing stories about the interruptions that Americans jump at:
- Has something really occurred until you’ve blasted it all over Facebook?
- Do you spend time with your significant other but don’t speak a word because you’re both immersed in your gadget?
- Does a blinking notification light make you drop everything you’re doing and fire up your technology?
I feel that you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who can say “no” to all 3 of those questions. Society is changing, and with it our social interactions. Again, when you hang out with your friends it’s almost guaranteed that a majority will whip out their cell phone in the middle of a conversation, and that is already “acceptable” by our standards.
One of my friends only has a cell phone for phone calls *gasp* but I am actually very impressed with that. They also do a fantastic job of staying away from the Facebook addiction (even though they have an account). Unsurprisingly, this person has all their ducks in a row, and I tip my hat to them because they aren’t attached at the hip to their ^@#$ phone!
The article goes on to describe a process for reevaluating your use of technology, and even cutting yourself off fully from it for an extended period of time. Seeing as how technology is my professional job, it’s a bit harder for me, but I’m certainly going to make an effort to limit my tech uses on the weekend.
Perhaps the best part of the article was the “Virtual Weight Index” quiz. It rates your time spent on technology and then gives you a score. A low score (25 or less) means that you could reduce some stress by cutting back on technology, 26-35 means you could stay slightly more sane by changing your habits, and a high score (35+) means you make serious and positive changes for the better by unplugging more often. Here’s the breakdown:
- For every non-landline phone you own, add 4 points
- For every social network you’re on, add 4 points
- For every laptop, add 1 point
- For every tablet computer, add 1 point
- For every e-reader, add 1 point
- For every email account you use, add 2 points (ouch!!)
- For every cell texting service, add 5 points
- For every online RPG (role playing game) add 5 points
- For every desktop, add 1 point
- For every digital camera, add 1 point
- For every additional gadget that has a charger, add 1 point (seriously!? GAH!)
- For every blog you write and comment on, add 2 points
As you can see, this quiz adds up very quickly; however, it does give you a snapshot of what can change in your life. I encourage you to take the quiz and see where you can cut back. For me, it was everywhere!