Perhaps it is not yet too late for a new Year’s resolution – one that suggests itself is to examine how I relate to technology. If the truth be told, this probably needs constant monitoring.
Nancy Colier, in her book, ‘The Power of Off’, suggests that most of us are addicts at this point. Some time ago people checked their smart phones every six minutes or 150 times a day – recent research suggests that the average person now checks their phone every five minutes or 190 times a day. She notes, that in a survey, one in three people would give up sex with their partner rather than be separated from their smart phone and fifty percent of people would give up their sense of smell rather than their phone.
It is an addiction with a difference – other addictions make you an ‘outsider’ technological addiction makes you an insider – the more you can discuss your apps the more acceptable you are.
It is also true that we are not giving up technology any time soon – it is too useful and anyway technology is not the issue, it is how we relate to it is the issue and Colier suggests, “we have to find freedom in technology not from technology”.
A first step in this process is to assess our level of addiction. Colier offers us some helpful questions:
Is your reliance on technology increasing?
Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when not able to use.
Are you continuing to use it despite knowing it is causing you problems at work, at home and in your social life.
Is your life revolving round technology?
Have you given up activities you used to enjoy to use technology?
Are you lying about the amount of time you spend on technology?
If one of these is true she says it is of concern; if two then you are probably an addict if three then you are definitely an addict.