Hooked on Technology Like a Lab Rat

6 years ago
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I realize this is the pot calling the kettle blog, but I’m worried that technology is sucking the life out of me.

Can you relate?

I feel chained, yet addicted, to electronic communications. Maybe it’s because I’m a stay-at-home mom, and those little pings from my phone remind me of a larger universe that I can’t quite see right now through the haze of Cheddar Bunnies, but my need for real-time updates is getting out of hand.

Photo Credit: Cell Phone via Shutterstock.

When I’m feeling a little lonely or isolated, the arrival of new texts, emails and even Words With Friends requests are my lifeline.

When the email action is slow, I find myself pounding the refresh button like a lab rat trying for another pellet. I’ve been known to check my email at stoplights, as though that’s more important than keeping my eyes peeled for other idiots who are also checking their email and might rear-end me.

I despise people who would prioritize a device ahead of a family member.

Also I am one of those people.

While Dave is trying to fall asleep next to me, my iPad glows menacingly like the TV in Poltergeist as I insist on reading one last Facebook update, checking one more Tweet, or skimming one last blog. And then I wonder why I can’t sleep.

I have other problems:

After a series of hacks (hackings?) forced me to change all my passwords, I can no longer remember how to access any of my accounts. The other day I urgently needed to download “Yes, We Have No Bananas” from iTunes and it took about 30 minutes of security question answering, code emailing and password resetting, by which time the intense Bananas urge had all but passed. I still don’t know my iTunes Password.

My Smartphone delivers emails faster than a paperboy on meth, but I’m terrible at typing more than a few words of reply with my little sausage fingers. So I postpone writing back until later when I’m in front of my desktop computer, except when later comes, I’m invariably busy changing my iTunes password and I wind up never, ever writing back. My mom is not happy with this arrangement. Neither is Southern California Edison’s monthly bill pay.

So I’m hooked on technology, but also kind of failing at technology.

Sure, there are some benefits to the connected world, like being able to read the entire Library of Congress from my phone while my toddler takes a 3-hour nap in her car seat. (She just won’t transfer to her crib!) But I’d give it all up to go back to the days of being unreachable and undistracted. Maybe had I been a 1970s mom I wouldn’t have been fully present either, but I think I would have preferred a daily date with All My Children to All of the Internet, All The Time. It’s All Too Much.

Dear Readers, how do you unplug? (I ask, unironically, from my blog, about to be published then posted to Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Reddit and if I ever get my act together, Pinterest.)

No seriously, how?

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