As I sit here this morning I have made a decision to publicly announce my addiction. I have come to the realization that I am addicted to technology. Now for those of you who know me or have known me, this probably comes as no surprise. I have always known I have had an enjoyment of technology that seemed to surpass the needs and wants of those around me. I think now I am starting to realize how bad these needs are. As I sit here this morning in the room we have dubbed “the computer room”, I have technology all around me. My own personal equipment includes two computers (Windows and Linux), a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smart phone, and IPAD, amateur radio equipment including a VHF transceiver and a hand-held VHF/UHF portable unit, and a vast assortment of other peripherals, wires, cables, and connectors.
I began to consider my possible dependency issues recently when I was sitting at my computer processing some email. (I hate not having an empty in-box) At some point I received a Facebook message and was immediately alerted to this fact by at least three, if not four, of my devices. Now here is where the dependency issue comes into play. Upon hearing the devices sound the alert, I am compelled to immediately check the message, and respond if a response is required. As I pondered this, I realized how dependent on the technology I had become. I do not go anywhere in my home where I am out of earshot of the devices. In the evening, while relaxing in front of the TV, my phone and IPAD are nearby and within reach. I will immediately check incoming emails and messages, miss part of the show, and spend the rest of the hour wondering what happened. Sometimes I do pay a bit more attention to the show, particularly if it is technology based such as </scorpion>.
Thinking back I realize that I have had this dependency for a long time. I had worked in the Information Technology field for eighteen years and overlooked my dependency with the excuse that it was part of my job. In fact, it goes much farther back. I became interested in technology in the early 80’s when the home computer became available. I suppose that back then I should have realized I was in trouble when my colleagues were passing around a copy of Playboy and admiring the centerfold, I was engrossed in a copy of PC Magazine enjoying a picture of a computer with its case removed. I do recall, before smart phones, taking the stance that I do not wish to be connected 24/7. But that was back in the Palm Pilot era before full connectivity was possible. Even then I would find myself composing emails on the Palm so they would be immediately sent upon syncing the device as soon as I arrived at home or at work. Once I had acquired my first Smart Phone it was all over. I guess, thinking back, it was a good thing that by then I was commuting to work on a city bus. It probably would have been dangerous for me to be constantly checking my emails and other messages while driving.
So where do I go from here? I know I have this dependency because I experience certain signs of withdrawal when I am separated from my technology. I have made a first step. I have programmed my devices (which I keep at my bedside) not to alert me during the hours of 11:30 PM and 5:30 AM. At least I am not finding myself waking up during the night to check that email that just came in. I realize I could leave the devices out of the bedroom but the Samsung is also my alarm clock, and the IPAD is . . . well, it is my IPAD. So, having recognized this dependency, what does the future hold in store. I know, Windows 10 is being developed, the next distribution of Linux is only four months away, I can upgrade my smart phone in about seven months. I wonder if they have support groups for people like me. Help!!!
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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