Device Addiction – Are You Hooked?

By , January 23, 2011 5:13 pm

“People who have your cell phone number know they can instantly reach you for help with their immediate needs. E-mails are delivered within minutes – so they expect you to respond equally fast.”

Jack Canfield, Author, Cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

As you know, we are living in the Information or Digital Age. Isn’t our technological world AWESOME?!

I’m so grateful for my laptop, the internet and my Iphone because  I can carry loads of information  with me as I travel the world. I’m always connecting, downloading and learning new things on the move.

What an amazing time we live in and what amazing tools we have.

Technology is relatively cheap and portable – So Yay! For the invention of the microchip! Everyone is connected.

Here’s the challenge…

While I love my DEVICES (IPhone and laptop) -  I also have to regularly check-in with myself to ensure that I’m not becoming obsessed by them!

I’ve coached hundreds of businesspeople and many of them have become unconsciously addicted to their Blackberries. Emails and 24/7 connectability play a huge part in workload overwhelm. They spend at least 3 hours a day answering email to keep up with the surging tide of information flooding into their inboxes. They take their inbox home and work on it while having dinner, watching TV or having quality time with the family! Most of  them are inundated with non-essential email. We have potential information overload at our fingertips!

Here’s how I see it…

Having a Blackberry or Iphone and distributing your email address and phone number is like giving someone implied permission to have a piece of you instantly – any time that suits them. Unless you set some boundaries you can unconsciously lose your power to other people’s agendas, demands and feel out of control.

Device Addiction can cause obsessive behaviour. This is where someone is constantly checking their phone or laptop even when talking to friends, family or colleagues at work. It becomes an unconscious habit. This is often noticeable and frustrating to the person who is on the receiving end of this behaviour (like your partner, children, friends, colleagues and even the dog!).

So here’s a quick test so you can check-in with yourself…And you might like to also ask your partner, a friend or someone who you trust to complete it for you too!

Take the Device Addition Test…

1. Answer the following statements honestly. Read the statement and if this is typical behaviour for you mark it as TRUE if not, mark it as FALSE.

2. What do your answers (and the answers from the other person!) tell you?

3. What are you going to do differently? Try making one or two small changes…

If you feel overwhelmed and out of control consider powering off your cell phone. Check your email only at fixed times during the day. Try being connected to technology a little less and being fully connected and fully present in your life a little more!

Device Addiction Behaviours True/False
1. I spend at least 3 hours a day answering emails (It’s not an essential part of my job/life).
2. If I hear a message alert I HAVE to check it straight away.
3. I constantly check for emails, texts and/or calls.
4. I answer EVERY phone call – Even if it is not important.
5. I check for emails and messages while watching TV.
6. I check for emails and messages while having dinner with friends.
7. I check for emails and messages while in the bath/tub.
8. I for emails and messages while playing with the kids.
9. I check for emails and messages while spending quality time with my partner/spouse.
10. I check for emails and messages while shopping.
11. I check for emails and messages while on holiday/vacation.
12. While I’m with others my phone usually goes off several times.
13. When I sit down my phone is always within arm’s reach.
14. My phone is NEVER powered off.
15. The thought of not having access to my phone/laptop makes me feel very uncomfortable.
16. Friends or family pass snarky comments about my relationship with my device!
17. I check my phone for emails/texts every time I go for a pee!
18. I check my phone for emails/texts while driving or at a STOP light or in traffic queues.
19.My phone is usually the last thing I look at before I go to sleep.
20. If I wake up in the middle of the night I will always check my Blackberry/IPhone/SMART Phone.
20. I lose all concept of time when checking my device.
21. Checking emails for 10 minutes often haemorrhages into several hours!
22. I sleep with my Blackberry/Iphone/Smart phone by the bed.

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