Technology has me in its grasp. It won’t let go. It’s got me by the proverbial – what do you call those things you juggle? Is this computer addiction? I didn’t realize that I was its victim until I reflected on my growing use and, yes, dependence on “My Tech!” But, saying I’m its “victim” is a large exaggeration since I’m really its beneficiary and it has changed my life, mostly for the better. My second career is a total result of the opportunities that modern technology and “Social Media” provide.
My younger son recently said to me, simply and with no malice, “Dad, you’re completely addicted to your computer! See, it’s there in the back seat. You’re always on it.” Of course I protested that it’s my work and it isn’t “Always.” I replied that wasn’t that the same exaggeration I do when I accuse him of “always” watching too much television? He just gave me a look. His take on me, technology, and the fact that he’s a teen and I’m his dad, is reflected in his “It’s a Tech World After All” cartoons that he created for BoomerTechTalk.com.
On my recent trip to Southeast Asia, I bought a “package” of Internet time on the cruise ship. The speed was lousy and the cost was outrageous. I mean “Outrageous!” I complained as if this was a life-threatening issue. I got extra minutes. But, wait a minute, it isn’t a life-threatening issue and I was supposed to be on vacation!
So, what is the truth, the reality for technology and me? Well, let’s start with the fact that I love my second career as a writer, radio show host, first time book author, and website co-creator. I get up every morning, between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., no matter when I’ve gone to sleep, and can’t wait to check my e-mails, see what website comments have been posted, choose and post my twice-a-day musing on my “A Dad’s Point-of-View Facebook page, read any twitter mentions that may have been posted, schedule my round of tweets for the day, chat with a friend across the globe, and/or just begin writing something new. Yipes, I’m out of breath just writing and reading that last sentence!
I have a smart phone that I check every 10-15 seconds or so when I’m away from my laptop. While in Southeast Asia, I was as excited by the occasional free Wi-Fi we occasionally stumbled upon in some port as I was by the extraordinary sites and other experiences we had. I sat on ledges, in those ports, with my laptop in my lap, alongside the cruise crew who were doing the same thing and video chatting (via Skype, iChat, or another program) or regular text chatting with their friends and family.
No, I’m not addicted. My Boomer Tech Talk partner’s reaction to this notion was, “To me: addiction would be someone who is truly not working and is sitting on Farmville (note: Farmville is a popular online game).” It is my job. I’m in a start-up period with my first book just published (go to “the Store” at BruceSallan.com to get info and/or purchase “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation”), my radio show growing, and the continued work on Boomer Tech Talk. It’s just temporary.
The fact that it’s been like this for over two years doesn’t really matter, don’t you think? Hmmm. Hold on a sec, I’m getting a text.
I’m back. My wife is calling me down for dinner now. “Hang on, Honey, I need to finish this great column I’m writing.”
Point, set, match. I am attached, to use a kinder word. And, like every other addiction or obsession in life, we must find balance and boundaries. I love what technology is giving to me, and to my work. But, life is more than e-mails, texts, URLs, Twitter, and Facebook. Isn’t it?
Technology is an inescapable and wonderful part of modern life. It can help everyone with his or her work, to communicate better with friends and family, and to even be a better parent. Yet, life has a Ying/Yang balance that must not be ignored when one thing becomes too dominant in a daily routine or that someone really can’t do without it.
Isn’t that the real test? Can I do without “My Tech?” The answer is mixed. When I’m skiing, I’m in heaven and not thinking about the next article, e-mail, text, or Tweet. But, when I’m on the lifts, I’m checking my “smart phone” regularly.
I need to improve on that balance and put my technological toys and tools away more often when they’ve got me in their grip. I think I’m going to read a book now…(after dinner)…”I’m coming, Honey…”
Get Bruce’s new book and Limited Edition (of 500) Poster, A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation at Amazon, iTunes, BN.com, or The Store.