Choose Your Cues
Good News for Orthopedics, “46% of people would rather have a broken bone than a broken phone”. - Adam Alter, Irresistible, The Rise of Addictive Technology
We reach for our cell phones close to 100 times a day – nearly twice as much as you might guess. At a time when so many people feel they do not have enough time, we add insult to injury by spending time on cell phone apps for gaming, social networking, and new casts actually has negative impacts on our mood, manner, frame of mind and as well as our physical posture. Why do we do that, and what do we do about it? Simple –– television shows have an end… when you turn the last page of a newspaper you are done. There are no “stopping cues” with addictive technology. So choose your cues. Proximity is a problem, so on your way to the dinner table – switch to airplane mode and leave the phone in another room. Check out Adam’s Ted Talk.
Supporting Adam is Nancy Colier, psychotherapist and author of The Power of Off reminds us that we decide how we want to be in our relationship with technology. She makes the point that unlike addictions of the past, where the addict was an outlier in society, the addiction to technology afflicts most of our society. The addiction feeds our reptilian brain that simply wants “pleasure, instant gratification, and whatever is easiest”. Here’s her test – ask yourself:
Is technology improving my sense of well being?
Is it making my life more fulfilling or gratifying?
Is it improving the parts of my life that really matter to me?
Is technology making me feel more connected, deepening my relationships?
Is it enriching my experience in life?
Answer no to any of these, and know that the next question is “what do I need to change, stop, or add in order to bring my life back into alignment with what matters?” Choice is wonderful thing.