Wednesday, May 20, 2015, AM | Leave Comment
Anyone having a cell phone especially a smart phone seems to be addicted to it. By the looks of it, some drive on the highway and on their local streets just so they can talk on the phone and worse still so they can text.
I live in the Northeast and in places on the highway, I can see signs on electronic bill boards saying essentially that teenagers are prohibited texting and talking on their cell phones.
It used to be that the message was “Don’t Drink and Drive.” I guess “Texting and Driving” has gotten folks into more accidents than “Drinking and Driving.”
Cultural experiment of epic proportions
Not only I see teenagers but grown-ups as well with their cell phones constantly hanging off their ears. Most have their one hand holding the phone to their ears while the other on the steering wheel.
The addiction in that case has become a distraction as well. In many cases, the distraction has turned into some fatal accidents. Nobody can “fix” or revert that kind of distraction.
We are required or at least we feel we are required for instant feedback, any time of the day and night, to such constant activities as checking email, surfing the web, checking social networks such as blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook.
It’s amazing how easy it has become to get addicted to being connected and distracted.
Addiction can be of different kinds. But eventually after you do your addictive task, you feel rewarded with something pleasurable. That can happen with drugs, alcohol, fast food and pain killers.
It’s the aftermath when you feel the effect of your addiction in the form of being stoned, drunk and overwhelmed with the threat of obesity that stays with you potentially for the rest of your life.
With any kind of addiction, you don’t feel the negative consequences until much later. They can be in the form of divorce, financial ruins, students failing in school and other such failures in life.
For example, checking email, or any similar online activity, has that addictive quality of instant positive feedback and delayed negative feedback.
A simple example of addiction can be when you check your email Inbox and you have received many emails from close and not-so-close friends.
You get a positive feeling, perhaps a validation of your self-worth, when you receive a new email. It feels good to get a message from someone.
And thus the instant positive feedback rewards you checking email, more and more frequently, until the addiction is solidly ingrained.
And you constantly start thinking about it and constantly checking it.
You might later get tired of answering all your email, because it’s overwhelmingly difficult to keep up with.
But usually by then, you are addicted and can’t stop checking.
And usually the checking of the email has positive reward (a good feeling) but it’s the activity of answering all the emails that isn’t as fun.
In a Nutshell
Personal technology is good as long as you don’t get addicted to it. There are other things in life, useful and pleasing, you could be doing.