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Are You a Digital Addict?


Are You a Digital Addict?

For time:
Run 1 mile with a 20 pound medicine ball
60 Burpee pull-ups
Run 800 meters with a 20 pound medicine ball
30 Burpee pull-ups
Run 400 meters with a 20 pound medicine ball
15 Burpee pull-ups

No cell phones here.

No cell phones here.

Are You a Digital Addict?

This month’s issue of Fast Company featured an article titled “#UNPLUG“.  Author Baratunde Thurston describes his 25 days of living free of the digital and social media world.

Thurston’s article hit home for me like a kettlebell to the gut.  Over the past five years the number of devices I have purchased to stay connected in every situation imaginable has tripled.  With the help of syncing I get all of my social media updates across all devices.  The mere act of holding my phone disengages me from human interactions to the point where I sometimes can’t remember what we’re talking about.

I never made a conscious decision to skew my daily interactions to life’s social media, digital, and email demands.  It just happened, similar to a slow and steady decline in a person’s health, that results in a “oh shit, how did this happen state.”  I felt queazy reading the article.  But, just like pulling yourself out of a decline in health starts with a workout and a better meal, so does changing your digital relationship.

I started to think about the places in my life that were still digital-free and the one big winner – my daily CrossFit workout.  There are no phones, texts, tweets, or email emergencies during a workout – because I have chosen, while subconsciously, to be turned off during this time of my day.  I interact with people, look them in the eye, bullshit, talk smack, laugh, and sweat.  And it feels good.

Realizing this and flipping through some of Thurston’s recommendations about how to bring digital balance to your life, it is clear that a few small changes could make a big impact.  And I’m going to pursue them.  No, I’m not cutting going 100% in the opposite direction but I am acknowledging that there can be too much of a good thing.

Are you a digital addict?  Take Thurston’s “Are You a Digital Addict?” quiz below and post your score to comments.  

1. How many days this week have you…(list number of times next to each item)
Checked Twitter before getting out of bed? OR checked your email once you got to the bathroom? ____
Had five minutes of Internet activity turn into more than 30 minutes? _____
Gone into the bathroom just to monitor your smartphone activity? ______
Texted while driving? _____
Experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) because you weren’t familiar with a new Internet meme?_____
Texted while walking across the street (or on the sidewalk)?_____
Shared a photo of your dinner or your cat (or your cat eating dinner)?_____
Said the phrase “Pics/video or it didn’t happen?”_____

Total: _____

2. How many times today have you…
Said, “just a sec, I have to check my [email/Twitter/Facebook/Path]”?_____
Checked in to the same Starbucks on foursquare?_____
Reached your cell hone during a meeting, just for comfort?_____
Panicked because a coworker caught you playing Dots (or some other social media/digital activity)?_____
Nearly walked into something or someone while checking your phone?_____
Tweeted from the toilet?_____



0-24: You keep doing you.
25-49: Turn your cellphone off for a few hours and see how that feels
50+: We’re not saying you have a problem, but…well, your significant other might be saying you have a problem.

(Source: Fast Company, “#UNPLUG”, July/August 2013)


3 Responses

  1. Maggie Flickinger

    I was attending a conference last week and never sat down at a session without being sandwiched between two people on their smart phones…instead of engaging the new people around them. It was really frustrating! You travelled across the country to text your peeps at home / surf the internet? Really?