Reliant on our devices is calling the kettle black for me. I am just as reliant if not more so than the average person being I use it for everything from personal development to work. My self proclaimed average of late for all my technology usage is just over 4 hours of usage per day, 243 pickups per day, and I get interrupted with 568 times with notifications. 🤯 Looking at my categories of usage, 6 hours of usage last week was just for productivity reasons and over 3 hours for social reasons. I’ve seen worse usage. I must constantly adapt and readapt with my use so that I can make the best impact to the human condition around me. Mine and others.
The positive about all this is I can make a global impact. Right now this blog is being viewed by 9 other countries other than my own as an example with its reach. At my finger tips is the world both fake and not fake in its information. I can get in a moments notice some of the brightest and biggest innovations or studies out there any time I want. Which I do often because I love to learn. My technology is a match in speed for my insistent desire to learn or absorb everything I can. Lastly, technology has enabled me to reach other communities and connect in ways I have never been able to before.
We have Moore’s Law which holds that the processing power of microchips will double approximately every two years, which is incredible. That means the latest and greatest you hold in your hand will double what it can consume and bring to your finger tips in capability in the next two years. DOUBLE! Let that sink in for a sec. You are going to have to adapt or be consumed by its innovation. It’s our new reality that we face in trying to keep pace. But, do we have to?
“In a poll conducted by the Boston Consulting Group in 2015, 38 percent of the respondents said they would rather give up sex for a year than give up their mobile smart phones.”
Startling and alarming. One of the most intimate ways to connect to another human being getting replaced by our technology. As I sit here and type on the tablet I take everywhere I go, I do not again begin to give myself a free pass from this addiction. I have the same addiction that most of you have to my technology.
So what can I suggest and what can we do?
“We have exactly enough time, starting now.” – Environmentalist Dana Meadows
Working through human cooperation to tackle our community issues rather than through technology to do it. Balance our habit to reach out through digital means and just go connect with a human. You can still use the technology to gather information from those meetings and get deeper connected by grabbing ways to stay in touch. Start with the human connection first. The way we gather in person has not gone extinct, nor can we let it. Gather in person when you can to conquer goals and overcome shared struggles.
Remove yourself from isolation that technology can sometimes get us cornered into and cornered away from human contact. I know it’s ironic and we live in probably right now the most connected state we can be with out technology, but it cannot yet replace that connection you have with another human. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said this about what the leading disease affecting Americans is:
“It’s not cancer…not heart disease. It’s isolation.”
Human to human interaction isn’t a either/or, it’s incredibly necessary for your health. Put that device in DND, get outside and make a connection with someone you haven’t in a while. And, be ALL there. This includes that smart watch on your wrist too. I know it’s on your wrist and it’s easy, but put it in DND (Do Not Disturb). Or, you can become a unwitting victim of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and it can trigger you to reach for main the device it’s connected to.
Move out of hyper speed and slow down. Balance your usage out with analog usage. By analog I mean pick up a book and read. You won’t get notifications with a book in your hands that interrupt you every few minutes. Instead of taking notes with your device in meetings, take them in a journal with a pen. Then transfer them over later to your technology for safe keeping or reflection. Practice and pretend you’re being late to the game of technology. You might even notice things around you more and capture that next break through idea.
The world is changing at a rapid rate. Living hyper speed lifestyles is a thing. It can plague us or we can be better stewards of where we spend our time. We can choose to still be more aware. Strike up a conversation with the real world and balance yourself and usage. Slow things down. Be late.