As the newly elected VP of Public Relations for my Toastmasters group, I felt it only right to set an example by completing task in my Pathway selection. My most recent task was to research and present. I decided to research addiction.
I learned a long time ago that when you point one finger at someone else, there are three pointing back at you. My name is Phyllis and I'm a technology addict.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine says, "Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors."
I'm no stranger to addiction. My dad was a drug addict during a time when PCP was prevalent. After a bad trip that had him running down the street naked, he got help and got better, but smoked weed til the day he died. My cousin who was like my brother, transitioned from a drug dealer to a drug addict. He was shot three times in the chest on the corner of a major intersection. Another cousin, who I looked up to for many years, contracted sex related aids due to prostitution as a drug addict, died from her disease.
Whether you agree or not, technology is the new drug and almost everyone in the world is addicted. Not only am I attempting to recover I realized I was my daughters drug dealer and am ultimately responsible for her addiction.
When she was only three years old I bought her a brand new iPod touch. I bought this because I didn't want to share my iPad. I spent $300 on a piece of technology for a toddler because I was selfish. I later downloaded games to keep her entertained when I was busy, working, or just didn't want to be bothered. I purchased Minecraft for her sixth birthday. She's had it for six years and still plays.
Here is the hierarchy:
1. Addiction Development
Fulfills A Need
2. Socially Connect
Meet Friends online
Fit in and be accepted
3. Takes Hold
Late for functions
4. Consumes You
Stops social and intellectual development
Reinforces feelings of isolation
Technology, just like any other drug, can have a damaging effect trifecta., physical, mental, and spiritual/emotional. I suffer from a sedentary lifestyle that is leaves me inactive. Some of those that got caught up in the Pokemon Go craze actually died. Kids and grown ups alike are seeking validation in checks, hearts and kills via technology. Our judgement is impaired because less and less are we finding anything wrong with checking phones in church., dinner tables with text instead of conversation.
Next time you or your kid reaches for a phone, tablet or any other technology device check to see if you're exhibiting any characteristics of addict.
Behavioral Control - how do you or your child behave when you get your technology back
Abstain Consistently - how long can you go without checking, scrolling or playing
Diminished Recognition of Problems - can you leave the house without your device and not panic or work without earbuds