Is technology taking over your life?

Blogs.

Tweets.

Feeds.

Not too long ago if you had told someone that you spent a good chunk of your spare time with these things, they wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about.

As citizens of the new virtual landscape, we are pioneering new technologies at what seems like lightning speed.

It’s Hard To Fly Underwater

The ancient Greeks tell the story of Daedalus and his son Icarus. Trapped on the island of Crete (home the vicious and anatomically incorrect Minotaur), Daedalus skilfully crafted two sets of wings for him and his son thus enabling them to fly away off the island in an impressive escape.

But as they made their getaway, Icarus started to become quite enamoured with this new gift of flight. He flew higher and higher, closer and closer to the sun…

You know the story.

I think this parable could very easily be about our modern relationship with technology. Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against technology at all.

In fact, I’m madly in love with it. The new tools available to us today would have been unthinkable in any other period in history. It’s exhilarating to say the least.

But as we integrate more of these “tools” into our life, venturing deeper and deeper into the unknown, we have to realize we are taking a risk. We are flying higher without checking to look at the state of our wings.

Technology wants more and more of our limited time and resources. And as if right on cue, we keep on flying higher and higher, oblivious the wax melting all around us.

No one knew Twitter could spark a democratic revolution.

No one knew that blogs could provide news better and faster than traditional media outlets.

But no one knew either just how heavily addicted to and reliant on the internet we could become. No one knew that World of Warcraft could cost you your job or your marriage. No one knew that without warning their self-esteem could become dependent on how many anonymous “subscribers” or “page hits” they receive on a given day.

Who could have known?

I’m not here to bash technology. (This is after all, a pro-technology blog is it not?) But what I’d like to say is that in our adoption and usage of technology, new and old, we should be careful not to fly too high.

I wont pretend to have all the answers, but here are some guidelines to enjoy a smooth flight away from the evil Minotaur of the interwebs.

Take A Time-Out

Have you ever counted just how many hours you spend online?

Give your self a time-out every once in a while. My wife and I do our very best to be completely done with our computers by 9 pm every night so that we can actually spend some time together.

It’s shocking how hard that can be sometimes. But it’s amazing how much you can think of to do when you’re not on your computer.

Prioritize, Then Move On

Read only the blogs you want to read. Remove the bookmarks and feeds that aren’t quite contributing to where you want to go.

If you have too many sites and social media services in your diet, you are overfeeding yourself. Your body won’t be able to digest it all and it will start to make you sick, depressed, and lonely.

Figure out what is actually important to you and then swiftly and deliberately cut out all the rest. Do online what you came there to do and then move on to something else.

Discover Your Inner Chimp

Humans are social animals. The internet is a great playground, but it’s not always the ideal place to foster healthy and deep relationships.

We are genetically predisposed to want to interact with other human beings. Did I say want? I meant need.

An avatar will not provide the same warmth and connection as another person in the flesh. Find real live human beings in your neighbourhood to play with. I promise you they are more fun and they will (almost always) respond to your comments.

I’m no psychologist but the place where I find deepest and most lasting fulfilment? Yep, it’s offline.

Get Sober

About a month ago, I realized something was wrong. After about a year and half of being a die hard fan of Netflix, I realized that the amazing miracle of streaming movies and television had taken hold of me.

I was watching more than I planned to. It was keeping me up later than I wanted it to. And all of a sudden, it was hurting more than helping.

I love Netflix and think it’s a wonderful company. But it was time for it to go. I had to break the spell it had over me.

You see, I had a goal of reading more books and to improve my writing. But without sacrificing a few episodes of Burn Notice, this blog post would never have been written.

Find out what technological “tool” has a hold over you. Examine where your bigger goals are not matching up with your daily technology habits. Then get some freedom. Sober up.

It’ll be hard but it’s worth it.

Spread Your Wings

So what’s the big take away? Make sure that these new wings of yours are flapping for you.

Or in other words:

Make sure technology is your slave.

Otherwise you might unknowingly become its slave.

And if you are a slave to technology, the only place that will lead… is down.

Happy flying!

30 thoughts on “Is technology taking over your life?

  1. Yes it is! And at no other time do you realize this like when you have internet problems and you can’t reach the ridiculous number of online accounts you have with various social media websites. You feel totally cut off from the world. It is scary how much

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Hi Joshua, thanks for stopping by and dropping us a comment, I am sure the author of the article (Marc) really appreciates it.

      Great to see a new face, hope to see you around again soon!
      Christopher – Admin Team

    • Oh wow. I knew I was in trouble when that Amazon EC2 server problem took HootSuite offline two weeks ago. Even though I could get into Twitter, I could not monitor my channels there the way I can with the owl, and I was miserable.

      Thank goodness all my technology is PC based. At least I can get up and walk away from time to time. When I get a mobile phone someday, I fear I will be trapped and tethered 24/7.

      Cheers!

  2. Even now, half the people i know have no idea what i do on a PC. They think i play games. It would take me hours to explain, so i just leave them be.
    Hardest part is when people ask me what i do for a living. That’s where i have to become inventive :))

  3. Hi, Christopher
    The article is cool! We are really addicted to technology. After reading your post I looked around and saw dozens of technological things that make my life easier but at the same time they make me their slave. Now I’m not talking about the Internet and things there – various social networks, forums, blogs.
    Yes, it will be a really good idea to make technology our slave otherwise our wings will be spoilt soon and we will be dead – at least – for the society and lost on the Internet.

  4. It is really a very weird thing that today we can’t think ourselves without the use of technology. It has really increased our standards of our lives but at the same time it has made us less emotional because we tend to socialize with people online instead of being doing it personally. It has also caused a great deal of revolution in the way people think and conduct their business. With the continuous improvement of technology a new dimension had been added to our life.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      This is very true Saqib…

      Thanks for stopping by and adding a comment, it’s great to have you join the community!
      Thanks 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

    • Very true. It can be hard to constantly make that transition from the virtual world back to physical world. Especially in the business context, nothing can replace face-to-face interaction!

  5. Oh Marc, you’ve just gotten a fan, you recieved a standing ovation from me! Just don’t want to say “great article” because you got me nodding all the way through. And for the advice right on target. I think many of us really need to do something about this. Thanks a million!

  6. Marc,
    I feel I’m becoming more and more addicted to the Internet. I can’t go to bed without a cup of coffee and the internet 🙂 My double sins! But recently I have decided to change my timetable a bit – now I work no more than 6 hours online and the rest of the time – far from the computer. The first 7 days were terrible – a real cold turkey! Now a bit easier! I have started jogging in the evening!

  7. Technology makes our everyday lives easy. There’s no doubt about it! However, the use of technology also changed the way how we deal with our lives. I think it’s just a matter disciplining ourselves while maximizing the benefits of using technology in our lives. Like for example, the use of FB. Primary use of it is to communicate with our loved ones, but too much use of your FB account can eventually cause addiction if tolerated.

  8. I’ve been stuck in the house for the last two weeks and i feel like dieing. People calling me all the time, 10-15 hours a day of working on the PC, i would definitely say it’s taking over my life, if it hasn’t done it already. I do have a couple of friends that keep trying to get me out of the house, i might cave in one of these days.

  9. You know, my family actually has no idea what i do for a living. I visited my mom a couple of days ago and she told me “your relatives ask what you do for a living, but i have no idea what to tell them. so, what do you do?”
    And i know it’s useless to tell her. She’s old style, has no idea how to use a computer. My relatives are the same.
    So, to answer you question, technology has indeed taken over my life, but i consider it a good thing. I’m not a “hunter” to go do manual labor, and i’m not a nerd to get PHDs, i would be dead without the internet.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Dead is maybe a bit extreme (I hope) however I know what you mean, many people (including you from the sounds of it) rely on the interent to make their living.

      Thanks for contributing to our blog by adding your opinion Martin!

      See you around again soon 😉
      Christopher – Admin Team

  10. Great tips here. This is quite an eye-opening read. Slowly, we become like slaves to technology and it’s very unfortunate. How many times have we heard people say they won’t last a day without their cellphones, going to Twitter or Facebook, or without their laptops or iPads? What if they do disappear? This is definitely unhealthy. There has got to be a balance for sure.

  11. This is a neat article. 5 years ago someone asked me what my Browser was, I proudly replied “XP”, lol.
    Now I have a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop and a desktop. I spend over 40 hours a week online, much of it helping and advising people who are just lost in the technology tidal wave.
    I have lists of things that must be done once online, and struggle at times to remember what programs to use, run, what email, websites and feeds need to be checked, what online chores I’m yet to finish and what computer house keeping still needs to be done.

    But I love it.

    All the hassle aside, the pros still out weigh the cons.

    And when it all does get to much I grab my scuba gear, some fishing rods, hitch up the boat and disappear into the wilderness for a bit.

    🙂 dom

  12. Thank you Marc for this insightful post and the great tips. I had not realised it was a 2011 post. It is definitely an evergreen blog post!
    It is true that technology is everywhere in our everyday life nowadays and that it can become quite addictive to the point of forgetting other priorities. I do try to stay unplugged during the weekends. Nevertheless, without technology there are so many things that wouldn’t be possible without technology. Technology is not a bad thing, it’s how we use and how much of it we consume that counts. An excess of anything can be bad…

    • Christopher Roberts

      Hi Antoun, it’s good to know you think our blog is evergreen 🙂

      Use technology in moderation to help you improve your life and you can’t go wrong – just don’t become addicted!

      Thanks for adding a comment, welcome to the blog 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

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