Newsweek’s cover story last week was iCrazy – Is the Internet driving you crazy? I shared the article with my colleagues and Gina said, “That’s the first question I ask my clients.” Exactly what question? I asked.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up? More specifically, what do you do between opening your eyes and using the bathroom?
“If they tell me they check their phone or computer, I tell them to immediately to stop.”
With good reason. Research is showing that the brain of a screen addict looks a lot like a drug and alcohol addicts. In her research of 450 Internet users, MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle author of Alone Together, discovered that “Technology can make us forget important things we know about life.”
It’s not necessarily by choice either. “We may appear to be choosing to use this technology, but in fact we are being dragged to it by the potential of short-term rewards. Every ping could be social, sexual, or professional opportunity, and we get a mini-reward, a squirt of dopamine, for answering the bell.”
How can we not opt in when everyone else is? Can we find moderation in this time of excess? We have built practices here at Seven Stones and bring what works to our clients. Leave your phone in the kitchen or the office while you sleep. Set specific times to check and respond to email. Make a call rather than email or text. Limit television. For that matter, control what you listen to on the radio. All media channels are designed for stimulation. Experiment by listening and witnessing what happens throughout the day as you come in contact with screens and sounds. What do you discover? What important things might we be forgetting?