My roommate recently decided she was going to switch her major from English to addictions counselling, and was told jokingly by a friend that to be an addictions counsellor she had to have an addiction of her own, and she does: her cell phone.
And then I thought about it, and I’m really no different. I’m really attached to my cell phone too, though not in exactly the same way. She is afraid of missing a call or text, but for me, the phone is a security blanket, a lifeline in the case of unusual circumstances. But the addiction doesn’t end there. We have two tv’s in our living room, one hooked up for movies and video games, and the other hooked up for cable. There have certainly been times where we have been watching a show on tv, one of us is playing a video game, and we both have computers open and next to us. This all comes back to Sherry Turkle’s article Can you hear me now? In which she discusses the idea of tethered self, the idea that we are so incredibly tied to our technology. With social networking sites and email, there is always something to update, and conversely always something to check for updates. I’m not sure what the attraction is in always being updated on the goings on of people I rarely talk to. I spend hours on facebook using various applications to kidnap my roommate, or send her plants and fish, while she sits next to me on the couch.
I guess what I’m really wondering is why all these seemingly pointless and excessive interactions have such a hold over me and others, and why I can’t seem to stop-despite how I’ve tried. Not to mention the fact that very rarely do I actually get anything productive done while online.
If anyone has any thoughts, or would like to contribute their own technological addictions, I’d love to hear it.