Getting a novel gadget or using technology in a new way is much like entering into a new relationship. I remember when I got my first computer: I was in love. I remember when I first discovered the Internet: I was in love. Same thing when I started emailing: love at first byte! At first I couldn't get enough of any of it. These technologies were intriguing, compelling, and astonishing. Of course, after time, I found myself spending far too much time on the computer, and a couple of times I wound up somewhere on the Internet I had no business being. I used to be thrilled to get a dozen emails; now I process hundreds daily.
In the beginning I envision how much time these technologies will save me. Remarkably, there is still not enough time at the end of my day. At first all of these innovations are fun and exciting. But over time they've become a little less innovative and a little more intrusive. Where once I couldn't wait to long on to Facebook, now I do so with a bit of a sigh at times.
All this technology delivers on some of their promises, but not all, and occasionally I find myself looking for my next "relationship." I've come to realize I have a tendency to respond to technology as the ancient Israelites did with man in the wilderness; at first, it's a godsend, but before long I find myself complaining and looking around for something new.
Write down all the ways you interact with technology during your day, from cell phones to smartphones, from computers to laptops, from game consoles to Internet access: list them all. Next, put a dollar figure beside each item. Add it up. How much money has technology cost you? Finally, put time spent per day beside each item. Add up the time for the week, the month, the year. What do you think of your totals? Is it time for a change?
The above is excerpted from #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking by Dr. Gregory Jantz. Get details on how to receive a FREE copy of this book (through May 31, 2012).