Courtesy of Corina Mackay
Technology addiction, hyper-connectedness, technology dependency, or even Internet Addiction Disorder is a hot topic lately, sparking discussions on major tech blogs, radio and newspapers. There are even books being written about it.
I don’t want to get into the heavy details here, and in fact, I don’t want to talk about addiction at all. I do want to look at the less-extreme side of hyper-connectedness, though. I have heard many people say that I am ‘too connected,’ and I have ‘too much technology.’ If you work online, or use social media extensively for personal or business use, these may be familiar-sounding sentiments.
I can certainly see the potential downsides to using technology too often, and the perceived addiction some of us have, as social media and other Internet services have become such intrinsic elements of our daily routines. What I think many of us are missing is the question of what that technology is connecting us to.
Unless you’re spending several hours a day playing chess against your iPhone, or solitaire on your laptop, my guess is that you are using the technology in your life to either make your day more productive, or you are connecting to other people, which is where social media comes in.
Of course, I’m sure it’s possible to use social media too much, and neglect other parts of your life, but I think it’s very easy to accuse someone of being addicted or ‘over-connected’ without stopping to think what they are actually doing. Just because someone is looking at a screen doesn’t mean they are necessarily wasting time. They could be promoting a great cause, fighting against unfair treatment of others or inspiring millions.
My point is, social media is all about being social. It’s about sharing and connecting with other human beings. That is why we love technology. That is why it has become such a huge part of our daily lives. And that is why I won’t be taking a ‘digital sabbatical’ anytime soon.