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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 19, 2014

Is the Technology in Your Life Working for You or Against You?

By Mark Sisson
75 Comments

24/7 TechSome weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on the power of food marketing. I claimed its messages and images are so carefully crafted to pique our interests and to influence our associations with certain foods that none of us (who are exposed) are entirely immune. I’ve been thinking lately about the larger applicability of this media principle and how it fits the realm of technology. The fact is, we live in an interesting age held in novel tension between in-person reality and technological representation. We see and experience “regular,” real-time living, and then we also regularly intake a selected, stylized version of just about everything associated with life – personal leisure, family doings, food selections, home appearances, relationship depictions, global events, etc. through our technological devices. The whole experiment is unprecedented in human psychology, yet it’s clear we’re drawn in – often further than we’d ever anticipate. Media forms and the status-bearing tools we use to access them claim an increasing and at times problematic place in our lives.

We cutting-edge moderns live with the same 24-hour day confines and same human physiology that requires genetically expected “nuisances” like sleep, sun, solitude, and face-to-face socialization as our Paleolithic ancestors did. Yet, at any given moment today’s generations have “the world” at their fingertips – an infinity of digital information and entertainment we’re told we must know or “must see” or must update. How – I venture many of us ask at some point – do people maintain these multiple “exo-worlds” (e.g. having seen every episode of the latest popular show, being constantly active on Facebook and other social media, mastering online games) in addition to living their own physical lives? The truth is, we all live on a moving continuum of choices. Likewise, we all live with technology. How much we live in (or even for) it, however, varies. Do we make it work for us as tool, or do we become its unwitting subject? At what point does technology (particularly media) use morph into overuse or abuse? Can it move from misuse to addiction? What does all this mean for a thoughtful Primal life?

While experts agree that technology addiction is clearly a growing problem, hard statistics are sketchy. Dr. Kimberly Young, author of Caught in the Net, proposes that approximately 12% of Americans show signs of “problematic” Internet use, for example, while the numbers can climb to 30% in parts of Asia, where Internet addiction is considered a greater problem. Part of the difficulty in pinning down the prevalence is the breadth of issues under the tech umbrella and the relatively recent development/general accessibility of many of these technologies. Internet addiction, for example, wasn’t included in the DSM-V (the 5th and recently updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), although online gaming addiction (generally considered a subset of Internet addiction, which itself is part of the larger label of technology addiction) was listed as a condition warranting further study and consideration.

In the absence of agreement on a clear-cut “addiction” definition, many experts prefer to talk in terms of compulsive or pathological use. Mental health professionals note that those with serious pathological use show signs of addiction, including withdrawal. The compulsion can be so strong that it significantly interferences with or takes over subject’s lives as they give up food, sleep and socialization to continue their time with their technology – whether it’s to play online games, view pornography, compulsively browse the Internet or specific social media. Researchers have noted abnormalities in the gray matter of those who use the Internet compulsively.

Some argue it’s a question of focus. We can’t be addicted to the Internet itself but perhaps can be to a kind of content/engagement found on it (e.g. gaming, pornography, gambling, shopping, social media). It’s a reasonable perspective. That said, there’s something compelling beyond a category of content that seems to have a hold on us. A University of Maryland study found that 80% of young adults, for example, experienced physical withdrawal symptoms similar to those of drug addicts (e.g. cravings, heart palpitations, anxiety attacks) when asked to go without their phones for a day. Another Time Magazine international survey showed that nearly 85% of adults couldn’t go for a day without access to our phones.

Yet, it’s not simply the presence of our devices but our perhaps collectively compulsive use of them that surprises. According to a Mobile Mindset Study done by the security app company Lookout, nearly 60% of us look at our phones at least once an hour. For those of us in the youngest group (18-34), that number jumps to almost 70%. Nearly three-quarters of us would be panicked if we lost our phones. More than half of us look at our phones in bed. Almost 40% of us check it while we’re on the toilet, more than a third of us use it while eating a meal with other people, and a quarter of us look at it while driving. While Lookout’s survey can’t claim the scientific gold standard, I have a hunch these ring pretty true. (What do you think?) If this picture doesn’t reflect a collective obsession, I’m not sure what would.

While I clearly conceptualize the difference between the use of technology and addiction to it, I’d also argue that there’s reason to question just how hazy the line has become between what we’re willing to constitute as “normal” versus abnormal use. We see the words technology addiction or Internet addiction and want to discount the whole premise or simply pin it on “those” people who must have other problems. (Indeed, research does suggest that those who qualify as Internet addicts, for example, do tend to have co-occurring conditions.)

Still, I’m going to rock the boat and question whether we can all fall prey to or require active vigilance against the addictive pull of technology. Just as food packaging and store design is set up to hook us, the lure of websites, games and social media show much more sophisticated strategy. Are we perhaps – with our relatively simple and predictable reward centers – playing with fire when we push the envelope online? We might convince ourselves we’re in control, but how many conversations with our kids got derailed or distracted because of something on our phones? How many nights did have we stayed up later than we wanted because we got sucked into online this or that?

Even if we’re not giving up sleep and sustenance, the fact is we may be compromising other elements of daily life. As many experts have noted in the last decade, technology is transforming even our intimate communication – and not necessarily for the better. In her book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkle critiques the dampening of personal connection and intimacy with the reliance on technological means of communication and entertainment. When our devices become our sources for leisure and contact, we inevitably deprive ourselves of deeper – more Primal – layers of rapport and attachment. Likewise, we may compromise other elements of health and self-care because of our technological time-sucks. What would our schedules and daily rhythms look like if we did without non-work-essential tech use (during our set work hours)? How much does it take before an indulgence turns into a pattern or at least something that takes too much time and energy to get over to be worth it?

The truth is, we inevitably give up a portion of “real-time” life when we venture to the technological plane of existence however many dozen times per day. Add to that the cognitive “transition” time when we bring ourselves back into the physical present after getting absorbed in our tech tools. No wonder so many of us get that fried, jangly feeling by the end of each day. It’s one wide expanse maybe worth leaving most days between the peace of the simple present and the overstimulation of a virtual world at our fingertips.

Thanks for reading today, everybody. What thoughts would you add about the use and abuse of technology in our culture? What choices do you make? What boundaries do you use for yourself and your kids? Have a great end to the week.

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75 Comments on "Is the Technology in Your Life Working for You or Against You?"

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Jacob
2 years 3 months ago
I think the pull of the internet is completely true. I have cut out most of the useless social media from my life. I rarely am on Facebook anymore. I’ve given up talking to people about news articles on Yahoo comments (most of them seem to have the IQ and debate skills of a baked potato). I don’t even have cable and only watch a little Netflix at the end of the day. End result? I’m happier, less stressed, and have more time to write for my website! Social media, by and large, is a massive waste of your life.… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
2 years 3 months ago

Not to mention electronics (as well as over-stuffed furniture) are the principal cause of “sitting disease.”

Unfrozen caveman guitar player
Unfrozen caveman guitar player
2 years 3 months ago

I read this article while sitting on the toilet, creating a black hole of irony that sucked in the entire known universe. Your continued existence is just an illusion. Sorry. 🙁

Vince G
Vince G
2 years 3 months ago

Literally the exact same thing here, identical… especially the sentiment regarding the intelligence of most other people 😉

Rick
Rick
2 years 3 months ago

Yep. Something like half of all people have below average intelligence.

Jacob
2 years 3 months ago

Haha yep! And they all congregate on Yahoo! comments.

Stacie
2 years 3 months ago

+1

Vince G
Vince G
2 years 3 months ago

Ahahahaaa… and yet more than half won’t get that.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 3 months ago

Generally I find Youtube seems to have the highest concentration of haters and trolls and they all hate and troll each other. Sometimes I can’t help but read through the stupid arguments though..

Shary
Shary
2 years 3 months ago

Your opinion of social media pretty much mirrors my own. Facebook may be worthwhile for a few things, such as finding a long lost friend, but it always seemed to me to be about self-absorbed people frantically searching for attention. As for finding out about deaths, illnesses, weddings, etc. on Facebook, I can’t think of a colder, less personal way to inform people of such important events. It took me all of two days to decide Facebook isn’t my bag. I closed my account and haven’t missed it.

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 3 months ago
I deactivated my account near a couple years ago because I was spending too much time scrolling down the homepage as a time killer. I mentioned it on here, calling Facebook “a waste of time”. Shortly after I reactivated it because I use it a lot for communication. Essentially it’s my email and my lifeline to my family because I don’t see them much. Without it I’d basically be back in the stone age walking everywhere (or iron age perhaps, with my bicycle) just to find out what friends are up to or make plans with them. Sometimes I still… Read more »
Clay
Clay
2 years 3 months ago
Accurate observations. My life is media. I help companies launch products – that includes naming, taglines, packaging design, marketing materials, ecommerce, etc. I build websites and understand search engine optimization very well. So it’s my job to be connected. I have accounts on every major social network. I’m online all the time. I work everyday. Even when I’m not working I’m generally available. The internet has been the single most transformative event in my professional life. Nothing even comes close. My business literally depends on it and it allows me to work with companies all over the world from my… Read more »
kay
2 years 3 months ago

Clay, I really enjoy your thoughtful comments. Maybe a few short ones now and then? We can’t all be passive or this community which helps so many would no longer exist.

Clay
Clay
2 years 3 months ago

Well maybe just few. But I really got to watch it. I love my job, but it’s soooo easy to just blow off hours on the web, reading and posting. I can’t even keep up with my own blogs ( I blog about my field of work and fatherhood…not on the same blog). Thanks for the kind words.

Erica
2 years 3 months ago

As a psychology professor we talk about internet addiction in my Drugs & Behavior class — it’s comparable to any other addiction regardless of what’s causing it. I know I tend to go through ‘withdraw’ if I’m not able to get online for a few days or check my phone. This is a good reminder to try and unplug more often!

Vince G
Vince G
2 years 3 months ago

You’re a psychology professor?! My psych prof looked like an even older, even more withered Anne Ramsey. You’re hot, is basically what I am trying to say.

Liz
Liz
2 years 3 months ago

Oh, for Pete’s sake. A woman tries to make an intellectually-interesting point, and right out the gate it gets reduced to her perceived sexual attractiveness…with bonus points for the derogatory comment re: the professor “of a certain age” you had back in college.

As a woman, I really, really dislike seeing interesting comments from other women reduced to an unsolicited assessment of their hotness.

You can do better.

Vince G
Vince G
2 years 3 months ago

And I find it equally disturbing that you fail to see the light-hearted, nearly whimsical, manner in which I simply complimented a woman on her looks… an action that, in my experience, is nearly always a good idea. Please don’t attempt to subjugate others’ intentions to facilitate your own inference of offense. AS A HUMAN, I dislike seeing people hijack other people’s comments without basis.

GFY

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 3 months ago

lol Vince, I thought your comment was one of lightheartedness, quality and accuracy.
Would it have been more respectful if he used a euphemism like pretty?

Matt
Matt
2 years 3 months ago

Sorry Liz, but the repression of human sexual attraction is psychologically harmful and pretty damn unpaleo. If he’s attracted to her, he’s free to say so. Let’s put an end to sex-shaming dogma.

Jane
Jane
1 year 1 month ago

Sadly, many people are like this.

Groktimus Primal
2 years 3 months ago

Technology is definitely a double edged sword. Especially for someone like me who loves it and also has OCD tendencies.

Gwen
2 years 3 months ago

For the past 2 months, I’ve been making a concerted effort to be offline more, and read more in its place.

Sure, it’s on a KINDLE, but I don’t check the net, so it doesn’t count, right? 🙂

shannon
shannon
2 years 3 months ago
I haven’t watched TV much since about 1968. People keep trying to give me TVs, but I don’t really have a place to put one. I watch TV sometimes with my dad when i’m visiting. There’s not much to watch. Usually we end up watching a movie on netflix. As for internet addiction: I am the only person I know who doesn’t have a smart phone. I have a little pay as you go flip phone for car emergencies. It costs about $38/month. I don’t want to pay more for a smart phone, and the cell phone towers are far… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
2 years 3 months ago

When I go out to eat with people and they start playing with their phones, I always get up and leave while muttering stuff like being present and rudeness. Doesn’t happen much anymore as you might guess. I think people need to know when they are being rude.

Laurie
Laurie
2 years 3 months ago
Shannon, I totally relate, and now I am the second person you “know” who does not have a smart phone! My hubby and I kid that we have a dumb phone. You know, the regular thing we used for decades. We are retired, we are home most of the time, so we don’t see a need for a cell phone. Maybe it’s our generation, but we grew up with one phone in the house and our family had a party line because we could not afford a private line. For those of you too young to remember, a party line… Read more »
shrimp4me
shrimp4me
2 years 3 months ago
I also refuse to get a smartphone but I do have a first-generation KIndle Fire that goes everywhere w/ me–when I eat out alone, which is most of the time, the Kindle is my dinner companion. The last time I went out w/ a non-family group there was a young guy there who was wearing a Google Glass AND had his face glued to his phone for the majority of the meal. Oh,, well, I won’t be going out again w/ that group, anyway. I don’t text, either; I don’t type well on a regular keyboard so I’m not about… Read more »
Nocona
Nocona
2 years 3 months ago

Overuse is when you are getting on the freeway and the person in front of you is going 24 MPH and weaving, with their face down. I’d like to run these folks off the road and strengthen the gene pool. Driving a one ton machine distracted is scary.

Read somewhere that High Schoolers text an average of 2,000 or more times a week. Wonder what I woulda done when I was a teen and they had all this technology.

joe
joe
2 years 3 months ago

Ironically, I am reading this article on one of my myriad of technological devices. I find them to be very draining on my spirit. I need to frequently retreat to the forest without them in order to recharge my primal self.

Shary
Shary
2 years 3 months ago
I don’t think it’s so much the addictive pull of technology as it is the addiction-prone nature of many of us. Some people are more easily addicted to anything and everything–drugs, booze, gambling, whatever. The school kids have become convinced they need to stay connected every minute of the day, and so they wear out the tendons of their thumbs constantly texting each other. A lot of grown-up kids do this as well. Also, surprisingly, a lot of people are relatively new to the world of i-phones, apps, etc. They are fascinated by that little gadget and can’t resist playing… Read more »
Tyrannocaster
Tyrannocaster
2 years 3 months ago
I am so unable to contribute anything to this discussion; I don’t even have a TV that can receive digital signals and we don’t have cable. We watch videos (DVDs, old tapes), but I don’t have any social media accounts at all. I don’t need Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other new shiny objects that dangle in front of me. When we dropped live TV reception my life became a lot more free and I want to keep it that way. Obviously, I have internet access but I try to choose what I want to look for and minimise… Read more »
Michele
2 years 3 months ago

It’s good and bad. The good part is that I wouldn’t have had access to the information that ultimately has made me the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been, without the internet. The bad is the complusive checking side of it, plus the fact that I feel the need and the pull to be connected at all times. At this point for me the good outweighs the bad.

Ricardo
Ricardo
2 years 3 months ago

“The good part is that I wouldn’t have had access to the information that ultimately has made me the healthiest and happiest I’ve ever been, without the internet.”

I totally agree with this coment, I guess it is a matter of find a balance to get the best of both worlds! I do have a smart phone though, I find apps very useful and other things, but I try to limit my use, my phone like to be in plane mode a lot! LOL

thanks, Mark, you are amazing! and thank michelle for have the same opinion as me lol

paleozeta
paleozeta
2 years 3 months ago
i feel the same way. if i had no net connection i would not been able to turn my life around with the help of mda, jimmy moore blog and so on, because i live in europe and there is no still access to these thiggs. on the other side i tend to cover emotional problems wasting a lot of time in front of a screen in search of time wasting stuff. the loosing of control, usually start the addiction, eg. alcohol, food, internet and one must raise his own antennas. perhaps it is time for me, all that said… Read more »
paleozeta
paleozeta
2 years 3 months ago

i forgot to add that ouput ( exercise, study etc) requires effort, but input ( watch tv, read silliness and the like) is much easier

shannon
shannon
2 years 3 months ago
I should add a caveat here. I do find Facebook useful. In a rural area, it’s like a local newspaper that everybody can edit, which is great. You might not like all the editorials, but in a small town you have to learn to be tolerant of people who are different from you. The fact that people can create events and invite people to them easily is especially good I think. I find out about births, deaths, weddings, birthdays, and retirements on FB. I have reconnected via FB with old friends whom I had lost track of. I think you… Read more »
meepster
meepster
2 years 3 months ago
I find Facebook useful to connect with my social circle – which is mostly musicians or music fans in a particular genre. They live all over the world, so the only time we get together in person is at festivals, which happen a few times a year. If it weren’t for Facebook, I’d never really get to know any of these people. Sometimes the anti-tech luddites forget that when someone is on the computer or the smartphone, they are, in fact, interacting with real people. There is a real person on the other end. When I respond to someone’s Facebook… Read more »
Trish
Trish
2 years 3 months ago
I love certain aspects of the internet–reading and easy research mainly. The rest, not so much. I only have Facebook because there are some family members I would never hear from if I didn’t. Twitter is useless noise. I have a smartphone but I rarely text and only play games on breaks at work (not all the time) or if I’m in a waiting room. I tend to use it more for stuff like making out my grocery list or depositing checks or paying bills. I’m amazed at the number of people I work with who are constantly on their… Read more »
shannon
shannon
2 years 3 months ago

Strong agree about research and reading. I learn so much faster these days, it’s astounding. I learn about books for one thing. And I still read them.

Diane
Diane
2 years 3 months ago
I don’t have that kind of phone and I don’t have a facebook account. But I do spend a lot of time on my computer mostly because I have a computer job and not a lot to do. I find computer stuff compelling and at the same time it’s very unsatisfying. I ride a motorcycle and I don’t think 25% of people are on the phone all at once, but I do believe it that 25% of people probably have used their phone while driving. It’s very frustrating and scary. Even though I don’t use all this new technology, only… Read more »
Dr. Adam Kipp
2 years 3 months ago

Technology, electronics and the Internet are evolving at such a rapid pace, shaping our society, current business models, communication and ways of obtaining information. Unfortunately, often times, what gets left behind is the genetic requirements for healthy physiology and genetic expression of health. Nicholas Carr’s brilliant book “The Shallows” documents how the Internet literally changes how our brains think, function and process information. While technology will almost certainly continue to drive so many social and business factors, staying true to activities and experiences that are vital to our genetic requirements for healthy living is a must!

K
K
2 years 3 months ago
I told my sister just yesterday (over the internet, of course) that if I didn’t live so far away from family and friends, I would like to get rid of my Facebook. But with everyone in other states, I find it really convenient. The thing that really really scares me is people driving and texting, or even driving and talking on the phone. Sometimes I check my msgs at a stoplight, but texting and driving is horrible. I joke with my husband that it used to be if you were driving and saw a car swerving, you’d assume they were… Read more »
Jacob
2 years 3 months ago

I gave up cable and don’t miss it. We still have Netflix and Hulu+ but I hardly watch it….wish I could say the same for my wife. Makes me want to fling her iPad/iPhone out the window into oncoming traffic sometimes.

KariVery
KariVery
2 years 3 months ago
Yes! Also, has anyone else noticed how many parents seem to be ignoring their children in favor of their phones? My husband and I are increasingly appalled at the lack of interaction among families these days….it’s very sad to us. I mean, little ones especially are missing out on so much! And for what – so you can post another narcissistic “selfie” or check your stupid faceblah account?? I have been having to fight off the urge to say “hey, you! You know this phase of your children’s lives is over in a BLINK of a second, right??? Pay attention… Read more »
PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
2 years 3 months ago

+1

Ricardo
Ricardo
2 years 3 months ago

+2 you are NOT alone lol

So amazing to find people that we can identified ourselfs

Annie
Annie
2 years 3 months ago
I completely agree! My kids are 3.5 and 21 months and I’m pregnant with our third. I am so proud that my kids don’t watch tv (not even Sesame Street…the horror!), don’t know how to use an iPad, and only recently did I teach my oldest how to call from my iPhone in case of an emergency. I would love so much to cancel our cable but my husband likes it for sporting events, which could be worse. I know my kids will only be little for a short time and I know I would regret so much later in… Read more »
Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 3 months ago

Yeah careful about that Sesame Street. I used to watch it once in a while as a kid and I grew up like Oscar.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_the_Grouch

lsh
lsh
2 years 3 months ago

You remind me of a photo I saw a while back. A group of five or six little kids (8, 9, 10 years old, I’d say) at the beach. They were all dressed in swimsuits and sitting on a picnic table….texting. Some clever person in the comments ventured that they were probably texting each other. Now that I’m thinking about it, I might have seen it on this website or on a link from this site.

colleen
colleen
2 years 3 months ago

Ha! Very timely. I was just trying to explain to my 11 and 13 year old that life is what happens while they are having screen time. They think I am hilarious.

Peter Fasano
Peter Fasano
2 years 3 months ago

The Internet is fantastic but in moderation. I log in twice a day for email, news, blogs of interest and the weather report. I don’t have a Facebook account or a smartphone. More than anything else I want to be out somewhere on a hiking trail.

Stephanie
Stephanie
2 years 3 months ago
I resisted the Smart Phone forever for these reasons exactly, but my mom wanted to get a new one and she needed someone to buy one with her (did I mention she pays the bill? I’m 29 and that’s unacceptable, but we only have local home phone service and she wants me to be able to call her). Anyway, I digress. So, in February, I got one and I set up very strict rules about it. Mostly, I use it as a pedometer and then at night after everyone goes to bed I use the games. Otherwise, I think I… Read more »
Dr. Anthony Gustin
2 years 3 months ago

Biggest sleep improvement people can make – no gadgets 1 hour before bed.

meepster
meepster
2 years 3 months ago

YES! I just discovered that particular fact, and I’m astounded at how well that works.

Luke M-Davies
2 years 3 months ago
Great to read this type of ‘lifestyle’ content – I am concerned about the level by which I (and I’m sure many others) get sucked in by our devices. I think it is good to put some hard rules in place for your personal or family use of technology e.g. no use of mobile phones during eating – why do we need to do this!? (but for an emergency situation). For all the ‘real life’ time we lose each day absorbed by our devices/internet, it can’t be denied that technology has saved us huge chunks of time, whether it is… Read more »
Simon
Simon
2 years 3 months ago

I have a smart phone but I don’t have a data connection so that solves that problem! People go on about having the knowledge of the world at your fingertips, so that’s how I use the internet, like a reference library. Not like a gossip network.

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
2 years 3 months ago
We make the choice for technology to be a tool or a trap. The key is knowing the difference. I use a smart phone for books on tape and google maps, necessary information and yes, keeping in touch. If I do not want to be bothered I turn it off. The problem is some people, especially kids cannot turn it off. I believe ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is miss labeled. In IMO, ADD more aptly describes Acquired Digital Distraction. The rewiring of minds did not exist prior to video screens and input/feedback devices. Reading and face to face conversation… Read more »
Green Deane
2 years 3 months ago
I stopped watching TV in 1975, the year I finished college. I also stopped going to movies the same year. I did the former because TV was insipid. I did the latter because of the audience behavior, which apparently now is even worse. And I have a telephone but I use it perhaps once a week. I am thinking about getting rid of it. Then there is the internet… but unlike previous media the internet is all about choice. Growing up in Maine like Mark we had two TV channels, theaters all showed the same movies, phones were often party… Read more »
Kevin Grokman
Kevin Grokman
2 years 3 months ago

I’ve struggled with this. All I can say for sure is it DOES have some pull for me, it would be challenging to be without my phone for a day, but no at all impossible, and it would is preferable and would be wise of me to enjoy more of my free time unplugged (from every electronic gadget used for entertainment).

Stacie
2 years 3 months ago
When I moved into my current apartment about 5 months ago, I didn’t have the money for cable or even internet. So, I didn’t get them. I got rid of my TV. When I “needed” the internet to pay bills or do my budget or whatever, I turned on the hotspot on my phone and did it quickly so I didn’t go over my data use. I spend most of my day at work on a computer, and when I get home the last thing I want to do is continue to stare at a screen. My apartment was almost… Read more »
James
2 years 3 months ago

As someone who works in the Information Technology sector, I create boundaries to ensure I am able disconnect. On my phone/tablet, I only sync my work email between 8a and 6p. Nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait until the following morning. I don’t own a gaming system (XBox, PlayStation, etc.). I also set aside an hour each night to read or journal. These are small changes that add up to an enjoyable evening during the work week.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 years 3 months ago
I feel there is a collective thought (of most) the replies here that technology that connects people is a bad thing. I think a lot of people forget that it is a tool used to enhance communications between people. Think about it, how hard would our jobs be with out modern communications. You can communicate with any one in the world at any time via oral or vocal means. This is fantastic. And saves a lot of time wasting when you can make a 5 sec phone call, text, internet search and ask a question. Also modern communications is a… Read more »
erosan
erosan
2 years 3 months ago
Could it be that I am the one of the few readers of this blog that, while totally agreeing with most of the primal philosophy, feels like the whole ludite attitude against technology is a massive overreaction? The cons of technology get enough attention, but as Jonathan and some others have expressed, tech is not only about bad things. Technology brings a lot, A LOT, of good things to our lives too. A week ago I forgot my cellphone at home, and I spent a whole day without one. It was THE most stressful day in my life in like… Read more »
LJ
LJ
2 years 3 months ago

I have a watch to tell time, a landline phone in my office for calls, and I write down my appointments on a physical calender. Don’t rely on your phone,and you won’t be stressed without it. I’m not ancient, I’m in my 30s, but I really miss the good ole days 🙂

CappyGrok
CappyGrok
2 years 3 months ago
The ability to connect that modern technology brings is astounding. Social media capitalizes on the human need to be connected to other people. I look at Facebook and LinkedIn as a catalog of the people I’m connected with, and the underlying technology as a means to engage those connections. The quality of those connections is variable. What I’ve noticed is that the feeling of connection is what I’m seeking when I reach for the smart phone, or click on the refresh button in my browser. Once I realized that I was looking for connections, I was able to start managing… Read more »
Sharon
Sharon
2 years 3 months ago

A very timely post, as I have just deactivated my Facebook account. I’d found myself more disconnected than ever to my fellow man/woman. Now, instead of having my face buried in the phone, I make eye contact and say hello to people (when appropriate). Very refreshing and tres retro. 😉

Coco
Coco
2 years 3 months ago

As someone who doesn’t even own a old school cell phone, I wonder weather or not I am represented in those stats. Seems to me that it only includes people who own a cell phone.

“85% of adults couldn’t go for a day without access to our phones.”

So it’s 85% of adult cell phone owners, not adults. I’m really curious about the percentage of cell phone owners. I hope it’s something less than 99%.

meepster
meepster
2 years 3 months ago

There’s that, of course. But if it weren’t for Facebook, I would almost never get to talk to my best friend. She lives in another country and doesn’t come to visit too often, and even phone conversations are problematic – the costs would be astronomical. So we do Facebook chat. So yes, sure, that’s displacing real-world contact with someone else; but I don’t want to talk to someone else. I want to talk to my friend.

C L Deards
2 years 3 months ago
I’ll be the bump in the road and say that humans are evolving with technology. We can’t eschew technological progress in the name of a primal lifestyle. True, we shouldn’t be completely engrossed in our phones, our games, our television to the detriment of our loved ones or health, but I say that to completely disengage from social media and other forms of internet indulgences is akin to sticking your head in the sand and singing, “la la la la”. Barring some kind of electromagnetic pulse warfare humans are not going to go back to their primal ways. Instead, we… Read more »
bjjcaveman
2 years 3 months ago

Do you think there is a difference between reading on your phone while on the toilet… vs reading a magazine or book?

Animanarchy
Animanarchy
2 years 3 months ago
One thing that draws me in on the internet is that on comment sections I often feel the desire to throw in my two cents even if I don’t think I have anything to say that would matter to anyone or contribute to the discussion or compilation of opinions and ideas. I am simply a sucker for a good comments section. If I had two cents for every time I gave one on the internet… Sometimes I just like to write or type words as long as someone is probably going to read them. I guess it’s a way of… Read more »
Danielle
Danielle
2 years 3 months ago
I probably fall into the category of being addicted to my phone i admit. I wish i wasn’t though. But the internet has also been good for me, I have made many friends on the internet, that I now know in real life. I grew up as an only child, my mother wasn’t confident and sociable and it rubbed off on me. Whilst i did play outside a lot growing up, most of it was alone. It’s only now in my 30’s that i can say I actually am more sociable and have a wide range of friends. The internet… Read more »
Christian
Christian
2 years 3 months ago
What are your thoughts on E-readers as it relates to overuse of technology? I am an avid reader, and can typically read several books a week. The e-reader has made reading much more accesible since I am am not constrained by things such as not being able to read in the dark. Lately I have been thinking that, even though reading a book is a good thing and good for your mind, that I spend too much time in front of the e-reader. Technically it’s not much different from a smart phone, and I tend to justify it’s overuse by… Read more »
Caleb
2 years 3 months ago
I did not necessarily believe that technology and the internet could become an addiction until I witnessed it first hand. Seeing someone who can not live with out having 24 hour access to the latest news, friend’s photos of dinner, thoughts on nothing and so much more is in many ways disturbing. No longer to individuals interact with the person that is right in front of them or live in the moment that is at hand without sharing it with the multitudes. An experience is no longer something we cherish with those we love and are close with, but with… Read more »
FionaBee
2 years 2 months ago

Some good points were raised but the fact of the matter is, in this day and age its hard to escape the lure of technology, it has become a necessary part of life and all aspects of daily living. The key, however is moderation and trying to avoid addiction and setting some time aside each day for personal contact with friends or family.

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