By Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.
Sitting with friends I have breakfast with on a regular basis, I told them about an historic site in Brooklyn that I visited and shared some interesting insights I received from the curator of the facility. One of my peers, who is from Brooklyn, asked what street was it on and believe it or not, I could not tell him. Once I put the address into my GPS, I followed the car where it told me to go. Years ago, I would pride myself on the fact that once I drove someplace, I never needed directions again to get back there. Now, so dependent on technology, I often can’t remember where I’ve been. As the other men around the table, colleagues from all different walks of life, confessed to the same GPS affliction, it hit me: we have become so dependent on technology that, at times, it seems we have lost our way.
How long can you go without wondering where your cell phone, iPad, or other device is? We are so connected to electronics today that even our wrists have telemetry telling us when to eat, how far we walked, our heart rate, and more. When was the last time you were totally disconnected from computers, TV, smartphones, or GPS? I believe we all need time to be “unplugged.” How refreshing it can be when you have no one (or nothing) tugging at you.
This has also become a serious problem with our youth. Their social skills seem to be diminishing and more of them are turning inward, ignoring those around them. There is even a “hands-free movement” to bring parents to understand how they need to offer their children alternatives to technology and keep them in touch with people. Who would have thought that one day we would need to make a concerted effort to socialize our children?
I am not a psychologist or professional in the area of digital addictions, but I do my best to be a student and practitioner of common sense. It just seems right to me that we all need to take some time away from our devices to clear our minds and refresh our physical and emotional selves. Even computers need to be “refreshed.” So why not try it and see for yourself? I challenge you. Take a few hours each week, put all technology out of reach, and draw closer to the people you care about most. See how this has an impact on your life and theirs.
Don’t get me wrong; I believe in the use of technology and it’s the base of my business, but for everything, there is a proper place. Using tools often will enhance our productivity, but being addicted to them can be debilitating over time. Use what this day and age has to offer to your advantage; just don’t let it be a wall between your social or family interactions.
Surprisingly, this concern is not a new one, but has been coming on for some time. Perhaps we have missed the warning signs: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” ~ Albert Einstein