I consider myself a reasonable human being, and I attempt to lead a balanced life. However, in recent years I’ve noticed a detrimental habit creeping into my world, and as I write these words, I’ve succumbed to the magnetic pull of a digital screen. Electronic devices reign supreme. I am drawn to them like a moth to a flame.
As a young person, I avoided too much TV. The allure of a new book always trumped the tube, and I was blessed to be raised in a small community where it was safe to roam the streets until sunset. I spent plenty of afternoons outdoors, and my television watching was limited to thirty minute sitcoms like The Cosby Show or The Brady Bunch. As an adult, I still restrict my television viewing to a couple of hours a week. Instead, computer devices consume my time and attention.
So, what’s the attraction? Why do I gravitate towards my laptop, my I-pad, and my smartphone without hesitation? Is it availability? Is it necessity? Or is it just a lack of self-control? The devices beg for engagement. They require my mind to actively seek meaning, and often I justify my screen-time by claiming they make me more productive. Even as I compose this sentence, I’ve stopped three times to check the updates on my I-phone. Yikes! I’ve got issues.
If I chose to, I could be writing this blog in my personal journal. Instead, I’m composing it on a screen and posting it in a public forum. It seems as though my brain craves the clicking sound of the keyboard, the illuminated fluorescent back-light, and the ding of a new message appearing in my in-box. I’m like Pavlov’s dogs, salivating and hungry.
This week our school district is hosting its annual summer technology conference. I plan to attend all three days. I look forward to hearing about the latest advancements in digital learning tools, and if I were a betting woman, I’ll probably find some trendy, new website or app I can’t live without. I’m like an alcoholic traipsing off to a local bar. The proverbial high awaits, and a buzzing feelings stirs within.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. Well, let me introduce myself. “Hi. I’m Tenille. I’m a technology junkie.” Maybe I’ll Google a 12-step program for those afflicted by this addiction. I wonder if they have online support groups.