When was the last time you had your “alone time” away from all of the technology around you, nothing but just you and your non-technological life? Many of you readers like myself face an addiction to technology. Some of us have even gone to extreme lengths of solitude to overcome this addiction however, it may not always solve the problem. Do you have an addiction to technology? How would you even know? Well I’ll leave that decision up to you however, I will admit that until recently I had no clue that I was addicted to technology. If you can not continue with your daily life, a day or even a few hours without using or checking your smartphone, your computer or any electronics…then I’m sorry to say but you may be addicted. But fear not your not alone!
What is Your Number One Technology You Can’t Go Without?
Personally my number one piece of technology that I can not live without is my smartphone! I constantly use my smartphone at least 18 hours a day (and I am not joking)! It would be 24 hours if I did not need to sleep. And so I have considered solitude as a method of, slowly reducing the amount of time that I spend with technology. But it is not as simple as it may seems. There is also a psychological part to this. Trust me, from my own experience I can say that if you take my smartphone away within 30 minutes I will literally start to panic and go insane. I will no longer able to concentrate and you feel anxious. My smartphone is a piece of technology that is a part of who I am. There are numerous articles out there regarding people who have gone to extreme lengths for solitude from technology however, how long that actually last we do not know. Some have even gone as far as spending hundred’s of dollars to force themselves to limit their use. Solitude….is it really the cure or the stepping stone for going insane and worsening the addiction? Before you consider the possibility of solitude, you should know that there are both advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Solitude
- One of the key benefits of solitude is “freedom.” A person in solitude is not constricted by others or consumed by technology.
- Allows the individual to reflect on themselves
- Gain confidence in their own abilities instead of relying completely on technology or others.
- Provides you with time to develop or further improve any skills (writing, reading, etc)
Disadvantages of Solitude
- A sudden reduction in the use of technology (especially for those who are highly addicted) can lead to psychological effects on the mind.
- May cause the addiction to worsen
- May only cause a temporary effect
- Anxious breakdown
What if you know the advantages and disadvantages of solitude? Why does this matter to you? Well lets look at it this way…..did you know Internet addiction is in the process of being approved as a real mental disorder?? Wait, so what does that mean, you ask? Well someone can actually say they are addicted to the internet and be diagnosed as having a mental disorder and receive possible therapy or treatment. Maybe Solitude is exactly what we need…
If you are a person who constantly checks their smartphone, spends countless hours everyday surfing the internet, playing video games for hours and hours each day…..maybe you may want to consider the possibility of solitude in order to reduce the amount of time you spend around or using technology.
Now remember I’m not saying that solitude is the best solution for every individual however, it may work if you give it a try.
Other then solitude as a method for technology addiction, many individuals may just want to isolate themselves from technology for other reasons.
For example an article released by NBC news discusses about how some American national parks are considering the possibilities of banning the use of cellphone while at the park. The main reason behind all this is because many operators/owners of these national parks believe that individuals using their cellphones or electronic devices while at the parks are not really enjoying the true beauty of nature. The believe that the whole purpose of visiting these parks is to relax, enjoy and become one with nature. However, this may be extremely difficult if the individual is constantly being distracted by their cellphones.
Personally I can understand their reasoning for this however, I do not feel that they should enforce such a rule. I believe these individuals have the freedom to choose how they spend their time in the parks, of course as long as it is not endangering anyone! And especially if Internet addiction is approved as a mental illness, no one should have the right to ban the use of smartphones (many could have internet addiction after all) or else that could be discrimination.
We also have to realize that solitude does not necessarily mean cutting yourself off from all technology, it would simply mean cutting yourself from technological items that have taken over your life. For example watching movie with your friends/family instead of staying at home and surfing the internet all day long! Or putting away your gaming console and read a book even if it is not through a physical book.
But i guess before we can actually take any of these precautions or steps we must first understand why do we become addicted to technology in the first place. Well I guess that all depends on the individual however, the most common reasons that i can think of would be because of loneliness, or maybe we are trying to escape from reality through our digital life, laziness, plainly out of boredom and etc. I feel as though these are the main reasons to why I am addicted to technology and possibly the reason for thousands of other individuals facing similar situations.
I’m not a big book reader…..well to the precise i hardly read books unless it is school related….yes I know that is not a good thing! But besides that I have a few friends who are book worms, they love to read books and some of them even read through a couple of books per week. And there are few who are trying to write their own books. But recently they have not been able to read “a couple of books” a week….in fact a few of them told me that they can hardly finish one book in two weeks now. So of course i asked them why, and it seems that the evolution of technology has greatly affected them. They have become so easily distracted and so consumed in the digital world that you end up losing track of time of the real world. One of them had decided to take a vacation from all of the technology in a remote area, with no smartphone, no WiFi, no service for 2 months! Okay, now I have no idea how my friend was able to survive….if I was in her situation I would have literally gone insane. I would be constantly attempting to connect to the internet even if there is no connection. And soon I would begin to hallucinate.
Your Life, Your Choice!
Whether you have an addiction to technology or not, whether you want to admit it or not, whether you have considered solitude for any reason….just remember solitude may not be for everyone so do not force yourself. Well I guess you may need to force yourself a bit in order to get into a solitude state. However, just remember if it does not work out do not be discouraged because I tried solitude and I realized that I can not survive (well technically I do not want to survive) without technology. As part of society, many individuals will say what is best for you however, I believe no matter what they may say in the end you should be the one to choose. So keeping that in mind whether you have considered solitude or not just remember it may not be for everyone!
Below is a youtube video of TEDTalk regarding how we have become so consumed with technology