Our addiction to our gadgets (and internet access) is right alongside our penchant for sweets and our tendency to be a couch potato. The big difference is that we actually need our gadgets to make our life easier. Whether we use it to communicate for work, connecting for pleasure, or paying our bills, we are admittedly never far from our gadgets.
We all have friends who have dysfunctional relationships with their phones. Why dysfunctional? Because instead of connecting with people who are actually in front of them, they are too busy taking pictures, reading emails, or checking out social media to see what is happening to other people in places other than where they are actually at.
The world grows smaller as our gadgets allow us to stay connected with people from different time zones but it also widens the abyss with people who are with us everyday. We have an insatiable neediness to constantly check social media and see what’s happening. Whether this is a case of FOMO or not, we end up neglecting family members and friends who are physically with us.
You ask: What’s the harm with fostering such a close relationship with our shiny gadgets? We ask in turn: How many times in an hour do you check your phone for texts? Do you check Facebook or Twitter first thing in the morning? How far away is your phone from you when you sleep at night?
To start, overexposure allegedly exposes our brain to harmful waves, wrecks our attention span, and most crucial, intrudes on actual human relationships with people who are supposed to be important to us.
The challenge we face is to learn how to sift through the constant stream of useless digital information and find what we need in order to add value to our lives and to ourselves. Among the never ending flow of distraction, we must prioritize what is important.
In this age of digital dominance, it’s importance to take a break now and then. Vacations, day-offs, and “going dark” for an hour or two at a time during lunch with friends or date night with that special someone will do wonders. After all, you don’t want to be in that table where no one is talking and everyone is hunched over their phone.