Over the holidays I mentioned to a few family members how I hated being “addicted to my phone,” and asked if they were the same way… repeatedly grabbing and looking at their phone out of habit more than necessity. I was mildly surprised (and strangely a little comforted) when everyone concurred. As this Onion article pokes fun of, it seems to be a widespread epidemic.
Technology is amazing and great to have. I’ve often said I’m glad there were smarter people than me ahead of my time… for example, I might have figured out the concept of hitching a ride by hopping on a horse, but I definitely wouldn’t have come up with the car, train, steamboat, or even tricycle. Likewise with cell phones and other gadgets… if the world depended on me for communication, the Pony Express would still be alive and well!
That said, I often get sucked into the dreaded technology loop, at times even related to the blog as I do things to promote online, share posts on social media & forums, etc. As this video from off-the-wall but at times hilarious Portlandia demonstrates, it can be a real downward spiral.
On the other hand, I’m also addicted to the high of training and being out in nature. In this case, the payoff is far superior than reading an email. It’s amazing what taking a break from my phone, etc. in the form of a run, bike, or even simple walk can do to boost morale. After a particularly stressful day last week, I hit one of my favorite trails for a longer (and also very slow) run. The trail follows a river, and it was especially serene on this day. A part of the trail is more like a wooden boardwalk, crossing a marsh, and it was just what the doctor ordered. So much so, that when we ran out of things to do to occupy our kids Monday afternoon (having Martin Luther King day off work) I took them to that same spot. My son and daughter ran wild, looking for “trails” and throwing bread to the ducks. Not that we were down in the dumps before, but it was definitely a crowd pleaser. Like the latest and greatest technology, it’s amazing how that works.