Addicted to Technology?
I am sure you've seen it hundreds of times.
You are driving down the road and the car in front of you is stopped at a green light. Maybe you've noticed that a car in front of you is constantly swerving back and forth across lanes. Or perhaps you've seen the person behind you coming up a little too fast and not paying attention because they are looking down at something.
That's right. They are looking at their phones. Whether it's talking on the phone, texting, or checking social media, you've seen one or all of these scenarios played out; it probably happened to you today.
At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read at least 12 books that center around the topic of becoming a better leader. The book this month is "Digital Minimalism" by Cal Newport. I am two chapters in and have already learned a few things. For example, some serious forethought went into the apps that you use on your electronic devices. Did you know that many of them were designed to keep you addicted to your electronic device? Check out this quote from Cal Newport.
"Many people feel as though they've lost control of their digital lives. The hot new technologies that emerged in the past decade or so are particularly well suited to foster behavioral addictions, leading people to use them much more than they think is useful or healthy. These technologies are in many cases specifically designed to trigger this addictive behavior."
It's obvious when driving, carrying on a conversation, or observing people, that technology is addictive. I had NO IDEA that the devices and apps we use were DESIGNED to be addictive in nature. That blew my mind a little. And I've only read chapter two!
In his book, Cal offers a new approach to handling addictive technology. He calls it "Digital Minimalism." He encourages a "digital declutter" as a result of reading through this material. I have no idea what it looks like to put these things into practice, but I am excited to give it a try!
At times, technology has reared its ugly and addictive power in my life. There have been numerous times when my wife or children have been ignored because of a screen in the palm of my hand. That's a problem. It's not ok. My hope and prayer is that technology will be a useful tool for me and never a master in my life.
I'll let you know how the book is when I'm finished. It's already changing the way I look at my phone, tablet, computer, etc.
On another note, I've realized, and you have too, that reading a book is a great way to learn something new and help change my perspectives. Hopefully, you enjoy reading. If you don't, find a good book to start reading today! If you need a recommendation, might I suggest "Digital Minimalism" by Cal Newport? The first 45 pages have been stellar.
How about you?
Have you ever been addicted to technology? How did you break that addiction? What books have helped you learn something new or have changed your perspective?
Until Monday, Josh