And female. Is there hope?

I think I’m becoming the woman I use to hate.

In Addiction, apps, Internet addiction, Motorola Droid, smartphones, Social media, Social media addiction on May 28, 2010 at 10:06 am

You’ve seen her…head down, cell phone in hand, fingers frantically typing, confused look, usually stopped dead in the middle of sidewalk.

But today that was me. I was at the gym attempting to use a fitness app on my Motorola Droid. From the time I exited the women’s locker room to the moment my ass hit the mat for some stretching, I stared down at the phone, transfixed. Occasionally I would look up to steer myself in the right direction. Most people coming towards me looked annoyed, others curious. When I finally got the app working, I put the phone down and it felt like…tah-dah! Welcome back to the reality! My God, I thought. That level of distraction was frightening. 

It’s a defining moment…when suddenly you becomes “them.” Have you been there? Do you know what I’m speaking of? I wonder if this was just a temporary dalliance in such annoying behavior or….scary to think… am I now becoming one of those addicted to their phones?

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  1. I think this is just a reality of those who involve themselves with technology. My mom used to be the person who cursed at technology and couldn’t even turn on the computer. After my Dad passed away, I had to spend some time teaching her how to do basic functions and she’d explore on her own – the internet was hers to conquer! Only after a few months, her focus to technology changed and she finally figured out why people could be “addicted to the computer/internet.” because she always asked me father and I how we could possibly sit at it for so long.

    Recently, I received a smartphone from work, an iPhone to be exact. This has now practically “integrated” into my live… everyday, I EXPECT it.. or rather, I NEED it to work. The days I forget to bring it, no one can reach me when I’m out of the office, I have no schedule with me (equaling missed meetings/appointments), I can’t listen to music, I don’t have a calculator, I can’t surf over 3G/WiFi, etc. I used to indeed get annoyed with people who would be eating a meal or standing around their friends with their heads down, ignoring the world/people around them while they “do their own things.” While I try to intercept myself from doing this when I’m eating or around people, the unfortunate reality is that I rely on this device to keep me connected with so many other things/people all at one time!

    • Thanks for your comment Prexus. I know what you mean about actually “needing” the device to function. I feel the same. (Funny thing? I helped my mom tech-wise after my dad died, too!)

      I guess what I grapple with is I’m now behaving in a way I once believed was rude. I’ve spent most of my life enjoying uninterrupted conversations with friends, family & colleagues. Then the mobile explosion happened and now someone’s phone is always butting in. While its convenient as all get out, what’ll be the long-term impact on my (our) ability to connect? I heard about one study that showed how some young people are having trouble interpreting basic facial expressions because they communicate so much via technology. Lordy! But then look at our moms…here are two people who experienced a significant loss but now have a better ability to “reach out”. Oh the pros and cons…..

      • Haha yep, we often will become the type of people we hate – life sucks like that 😛 Some of my friends used to sit down at the table and whip out their devices… like seriously, we JUST sat down. Now sometimes, I do the same thing, although now that pretty much ALL my friends do it, it seems “just the norm” – but I’d get very annoyed at the fact back then that they would practically not pay attention to me for 20 minutes while they all “caught up” with everything. It makes sense during business-hours and such, but most of our get-togethers were after work and there wouldn’t be a “it’s for work” excuse, lol.

        Many kids now not only have problems dealing with facial expression, but just being able to talk to a person in front of them. Also, I work in an educational environment, so I can see the kids lacking spelling/grammar skills as a result of too much shorthand and non-face-to-face communication. I’m not saying I have the best English, since it isn’t my native language, but it’s a hell of a lot better than even peers who graduated with me out of high school and post-secondary. It does worry me that in a few years, these kids will be entering the workforce and barely able to compose a formal writing.

        Nevertheless, as you said, it’s all about the pros and cons of technology. It has brought people closer together, family that we’d see once every 8 years, we can now see every day with a click of a button and a webcam. Unfortunately, we’re going towards the direction of not technology revolving around us, but US revolving around technology. It’s like if technology fails, we fail with it!

      • “Technology not revolving around us, but us revolving around technology”….so true! But did it always feel this way? It’s moving so fast I feel like I’m being pushed.

        Also – and I promise my rant will end here – some people aren’t even aware how telling their cell phone behavior is. Say you’re in a group and everyone is listening to one person talking…..then someone nonchalantly starts playing with their phone. I think it screams “BORED.” It as if cell phones bring body language to a whole new level. Wanna know how interesting a person’s point is? Just look around at the number of people playing with their phones while it’s being made! Ugh.

        Anyways…I really appreciate your comment. That’s awful about the spelling skills of the kids you see. English teachers have their work cut out for them!

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