By Dr David Greenfield
A New Normal
Americans have not as of yet decided how to deal with the incursion of portable digital technologies into our everyday public life. We are only now just beginning to address the intrusion these devices can and do create in our public places and spaces, and we are only now starting to develop new social norms on how and when we use them.
How to be Present and Simultaneously Absent
The problem with all these portable technologies (mainly Smartphones) is that the freedom they afford us in unfettered access creates a public statement that: “Where I am and what I am doing now is not where I actually am or want to be”. In short, all these technologies in effect shift time and space. A rather disconcerting feeling is communicated indirectly when we are in a public space yet seem to be connected […]
On Sept. 22, 2006, Reggie Shaw, 19, climbed into his sport utility vehicle to head to a painting job. He picked up a Pepsi at the local gas station and started over the mountain pass between Tremonton, Utah, his hometown, and Logan, the big city to the east, near the Idaho border.
It was 6:30 in the morning, and freezing rain was falling. Just behind Reggie was John Kaiserman, a farrier, who was driving a truck and trailer carrying a thousand pounds of horseshoes and equipment. Mr. Kaiserman noticed Reggie swerve several times across the yellow divider and thought: This guy is going to cause us all some trouble.
Reggie came over a big crest and headed down a hill, traveling around 55 miles an hour as he hit a flat stretch. He crossed the yellow divider again. This time, he clipped a Saturn heading the other direction on the two-lane highway. Inside the Saturn were two men, Jim Furfaro and Keith O’Dell, commuting to work.
The Plug Back into Life sm Challenge!
How to Go Low-Tech Some of the Time
Try any of these ideas to reduce your digital tech use just a small amount and see how it feels!
By Dr. David Greenfield
- Leave your Smartphone in the car when you go into a restaurant to eat.
- Turn your cell/Smartphone OFF (not vibrate) for at least 1-hour a day—yes…1 whole hour of being disconnected!
- Try setting a 1-hour limit whenever you go into your Computer, Laptop or Tablet and then TURN IT OFF (assuming you are not using for work/school.
- Try to have one real-timesm face to face conversation with someone without cell, text, email, or social media, e.g. meet for coffee, a walk, or a meal—do some real-timesm activity when you have the urge to go online or play with your Smartphone.
- Create a rule where your Cell/Smartphone cannot be at the dinner table in your home; get the phone off the table!
- When in a checkout line, waiting room, or waiting somewhere try to have real a conversation with a person, read a book, of just sit and experience “no activity or distraction”–don’t just mindlessly play with your Smartphone all the time.
- Limit yourself to […]
FOMO-Fear of Missing Out
By Dr. David Greenfield, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
The fear of missing out (FOMO) as it implies is that we are so connected or “plugged in” to our digital devices that we actually experience fear or anxiety when we lose that electronic tether to the our Internet world. Whether that connection occurs via our smartphone, Ipad, laptop, or some other Internet–enabled digital device the result is essentially the same. We experience a withdrawal-like feeling when we either loose access or are afraid we might lose access. The whole premise of FOMO is that there is something going on in cyberspace that is better than what we are doing right now. We might feel we will miss something important, or that we might see, via face book, twitter, or other social media, that people are living a better, more exciting life than we are living and we are somehow “missing out”.
We can be actively engaged in our daily life and enjoying ourselves but still feel an almost compulsive need to check our Smartphone, email, texts, tweets, or face book to see if there is something we […]