After a great deal of travel so far this year, the scene is all too familiar. Everyone on the plane works their phone right up until takeoff, and the first thing everyone does when they land: reach for the phone.
Don’t get me wrong. The proliferation of bandwidth and mobile technology IS a fantastic achievement and a privilege that most other nations do not offer.
As a digital marketing agency, the very existence of Imaginuity Interactive depends on fundamental access to this technology. Our success over the past decade can be directly attributed to the thirst of digital consumption by both businesses and consumers. We define Digital Balance for our clients as the appropriate allocation of limited resources and time across all the choices of digital channels and marketing efforts, so our clients can maximize business results.
It’s also becoming important for each of us to find a balance – the right balance between digital and real life.
We have reached a point in the technology evolution where overconsumption is becoming the norm, and it can be detrimental. Our thirst for technology has become habitual. The stories of no phones at the dinner table or the teenager that had more than 5,000 txt messages in a month have become common place.
Of course, these are all symptoms a much larger issue: The need for people to feel connected and choosing to do so via a device instead of via human interaction. Technology certainly has made the world a smaller and faster place, enabling us to communicate across the world via phone, computer, video conferencing and social media 24/7, in real time. We may be getting TOO connected and too attached to our technology … and too isolated by it.
Internet and technology addiction is a legitimate area of study for the American Psychological Association. Internet technology may have some gamer teens craving “techno-intimacy” instead of human interaction.
The proliferation of digital technology is leading us down a path similar to the proliferation of the gasoline engine. While we see many benefits in the advances of this technology, inherently there is no conscience to it. It is an organic proliferation of advances by industry, without asking the question of how fast is too fast.
How much is too much? I am not a proponent of regulating advances in technology, but there are human consequences to be realized in any invention or advancement. It may be decades later when we look back and ask, “What have we done?”
For now, I suggest disciplined unplugging. Do it once a week, without exception. Schedule it on your e-calendar if that helps.
- Unplug from your email, computer, tablet and phone
- Try not to txt for 24 hours
- Play a board game in person with your friends, instead of online
- Don’t check email for a day
- Turn off that game console and go play baseball with your friends
- Go to a movie with your buddies, instead of streaming it
Whatever your choices are, invest in yourself and strive for true balance in your life. Slow down, refresh yourself, reconnect in person with your friends and loved ones. Feed your soul.