As I write this on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, I’m doing so on an Apple laptop while an iPhone rests next to it and a pair of headphones, connected to the phone by Bluetooth, plays a sports talk radio program from an app that lets me play satellite radio without either a radio or a satellite.
I’m doing all this despite the fact I’m supposed to be too old for such technology. I’m 51 and nobody over 50 EVER gets modern technology. I saw a meme (how does that old fool know that word?) the other day showing a phone made for the over 50 set. It was a flip phone with an old rotary dial in it.
That’s ridiculous, of course. I was 28 when I got my first home computer and 29 when I first hooked to the internet at home. And I’d been using both at work long before that. But because I’ve lived long enough to have a 5 at the beginning of my age, I’m supposedly an old fogey who doesn’t get what all the young people are up to.
It’s true I can’t figure out Snapchat, or I don’t have enough friends to make it worth figuring out, but technology does not befuddle me or have me wishing for a simpler time when a man’s every move wasn’t tracked.
In fact, it depresses me to think that one day I’ll be gone and technology will keep advancing. Who knows what I’ll miss? I would ask somebody to bring Wired magazine to my grave and read it to me so at least what’s happening will be in the air around me, but I plan on being cremated, so never mind.
I’m griping like an old man (I will admit to some things due to age) because I came across something recently about people being addicted to technology. I’ve always figured I’m addicted to technology. My phone is always with me, I have a tablet and I still have a desktop computer, though a lot of people are giving up on them.
I have a high tech radio in my vehicle and I now have, thanks to Christmas presents, a watch on my arm that keeps track of every move I make and keeps a running tab of my heart rate. I’m too scared to find out what a good heart rate is for a man my age, but I like to think the number it shows is pretty good.
The watch also shows me what’s happening on my phone whenever it buzzes so I can check to see if it’s worth dragging said phone out.
I can’t IMAGINE living without any of this stuff. Other people my age will say they could, but unless they never got into it, they’re lying. Having the world at your fingertips is an incredible rush and since there is literally something new to learn every day, it never gets old.
The story I came across concerned a group of guys, all in their twenties, who claimed tech addiction. They claimed they had it have so bad they were part of a support group that aims to help people with their addiction.
One said he played video games 80 hours a week, only eating every two or three days and losing 25 pounds.
One said he had a traumatic brain injury and used video games and marijuana to self medicate. Another used the internet to help him deal with a car wreck that seriously injured his brother and yet another worked in the technology world, saying for him it was like an alcoholic working in a bar.
So, now we have people asking if one day technology addiction will replace narcotics as a way of escaping the world? Could be. I’ve never done drugs, but I can see people with addictive personalities latching onto anything that gives them a dopamine rush.
And you would think that technology wouldn’t hurt a person as bad as a drug addiction, but at least in certain cases you’d be wrong. The young men in the tech addiction help group told tales of failing out of school, losing jobs, girlfriends, family sympathy and even ending up living under a bridge.
I think a lot of people, yours truly included, are addicted to technology, but I also think most of us will be okay with it and won’t end up sharing bridge space with somebody who has much more serious problems.
And if you do end up under a bridge, jobless, the cure is right there. It’s called a walk in the fresh air.