Get rid of the gadgets


By Brooke Strickland

Smartphones, laptops, Kindles, iPads.  The list goes on and on.  Everywhere you turn it feels like there is a new technology to learn about.  It’s easy to become attached to these gadgets, too.  Your email is connected to them, texts are pouring in, and it’s true that there is a benefit to that.  But, when technology takes over and it becomes an all-consuming part of your life, it can become a powerful and even addicting force in your daily life.  Even Silicon Valley higher-ups are recognizing this force and are encouraging people to unplug from technology for a bit.   

Technology creators are aware of the addictive force some of the devices have and video game makers are feeding on it as well. Even  Zynga/Farmville co-founder admits to encouraging technology addiction.  He explains that he has helped addict millions of people to dopamine, a neurochemical that has been shown to be released by pleasurable activities, including video game playing, but is also seen in other types of addictions such as drug or alcohol use.  We’re done with this honeymoon phase and now we’re in this phase that says, ‘Wow, what have we done?’ said Soren Gordhamer, who organizes Wisom 2.0, an annual conference he started in 2010 about the pursuit of balance in the digital age. “It doesn’t mean what we’ve done is bad. There’s no blame. But there is a turning of the page.” [1]

The root of the source is that humans long to be connected with each other.  These devices give us a way to do that, and in many cases, people become attached to the easy way to interact and connect with one another in an instantly gratifying sort of way.  Some find it hard to balance regular life with the integration of technology, so finding ways to unplug and recharge internally are important. How can you do this?  Try small steps.  Turn off your phone at night and leave it in another room.  Don’t get on your laptop or Kindle before bed.  Read a real book.  Enjoy a heart to heart conversation with your spouse. 

An email response can wait until the morning.  Recharging your soul and your relationships are more important.

Internet and technology addiction is real.  If you or a loved one is addicted, read more at www.hooked-on-games.com.




 

[1] Richtel, Matt. “Silicon Valley Says Step Away From The Device.”  New York Times. July 23, 2012.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/technology/silicon-valley-worries-about-addiction-to-devices.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general  Accessed July 26, 2012

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