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My Tech Addiction

It’s been rough couple of weeks to be a piece of technology in my house. I’ve had issues with my computer and my cell phone — which is my primary phone, since I haven’t had a landline in years.

My laptop is on life support. Literally. It’s sitting on a cooling pad — an external heat sink platform with some build in fans to help with ventilation. Without it, if I run photoshop or even try to play angry birds, the laptop overheats and shuts off. So basically… my laptop is on a┬áventilator. I’m treating it like a sick family member: giving it plenty of time to rest and trying not to get it too excited or stressed out. Ironic… here’s technology that was supposed to make my life easier, and now I’m going out of my way to make its life easier. *shrug*

But I was already well aware of the extent of my laptop addiction. I spend more time with my laptop than I do with anyone or anything else. Period. If I’m not showering, driving, or eating out somewhere with friends… my laptop is rarely out of reach. I’m one of those intensely connected people who will check email if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

But my phone? I didn’t consider myself to be as much of a phone addict. First of all, I don’t like talking on the phone and I’m not the kind of person to spend hours on end in phone conversations. (On occasion, I have… but it’s not the norm for me.) I’ve had a cell phone in some form since I was just out of high school… but I was not an early adopter when smartphones hit the market. In fact, I resisted smartphones entirely until June of 2009 when the Palm Pre was released… mostly because my pastor was so excited about this new phone with its amazing new operating system, WebOS. But once I got a taste… I was hooked! I started using it to check emails, keep up with my calendar, send text messages more efficiently, play games, even get GPS-style directions. But even so, I didn’t consider myself addicted. I had friends who were far more attached to their devices than I was. Compared to them, I was a relatively casual user.

Or that’s what I thought until yesterday morning… when my Pre finally died before church. I knew that being without my smartphone would be an inconvenience, but I never realized just how much it had become a part of my routine until it wasn’t there anymore.

I don’t wear a watch. It isn’t that I’m opposed to them; it’s just that my wrists have always been watch killers, so I’ve just stopped trying. Now, in the age of smart phones that auto-sync the time and even update your time zone as you travel… I use my phone to check the time A LOT. And I’ve been lost without it!

My phone had also become a replacement for my point-n-shoot camera. I would have loved to take some pictures of a special presentation at our church yesterday morning… but without my phone, and my much larger and more complex DSLR at home, I couldn’t.

I’m on the worship team & many Sundays, I’ll play a song at the end of the service. Sometimes I think of one that would be perfect during the message and look it up on my phone to refresh my memory for chords & words. Couldn’t do that either.

Couldn’t tweet or post a facebook update.

Couldn’t text the tech team during service to let them know when something wasn’t showing up right.

Couldn’t check emails.

At lunch, couldn’t check in with my friends using a location service.

Couldn’t check the weekend hours of a store I needed to visit while I was driving there.

At home, couldn’t call my mom from a phone number that she’d recognize as mine.

Couldn’t text a quick question to a friend.

Couldn’t set my alarm for the morning.

And since my Pre displays the time while it is on its touchstone charger… I also lost my night table clock!

No wonder I’m feeling a little depressed! No wonder I’m going into tech withdrawals!

For a brief moment last night, while I was lamenting my situation, in a flash of either clarity or insanity… I wondered if maybe it might be a good idea to stay disconnected for a while…

Nah. Not gonna happen!

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