Internet addiction or digital addiction is so powerful that people walk into walls, fall down stairs, and crash their cars while using smartphones and tablets. People read GPS directions while driving. How can anyone see where to drive if they are reading a phone? I have been in meetings that ban cell phones and seen people use their phone to check the time when there is a clock on the wall.
Google returns 68,100,000 links for the search terms “Internet addiction.” Digital addiction is so subtle. It tells us that constant Internet connection is akin to breathing. Internet addiction creates denial. We just connect with the Internet naturally. We just breathe naturally.
Do you ever notice that you feel irritable and distracted when you can not connect to the Internet? For some people, losing an Internet connection in a coffee shop can create the same anxiety they feel when they lose an Internet connection at home.
Can you take a walk without your smartphone? Can you watch television without also having an Internet connection? Has your smartphone pulled you out of a meeting demanding that you use it?
Police can spot drivers using smartphones the same way the police spot drunk drivers. Smartphones users may drive too slowly or too fast. Their driving speed increases and decreases. They weave in their lane or they weave in and out of their lane.
Four ways to enjoy your day without the Internet.
- If you are walking, take note of your surroundings. If you are in a building, remember the colors of the walls and the floor. Notice the people you pass and what they are wearing. Nod to the people you pass. If you know them, say, “Hi,” and say their name. Remember the lighting and the type of flooring. Remember the smells of where you are.
- If you are in a waiting room, take a book or some magazines. Take a notepad or legal pad to write things. If you have some letters or notes to send, a waiting room is a place to find time to write them.
- If you are in a shopping line, remember the color of the hair of the people around you. Guess the age and height of the other shoppers. You might even realize that you know someone you had not noticed. Glance at the items in their carts. You might remember something that you need or some new item you would like to try.
- If you are in a meeting, pay attention to what people are saying. Take handwritten notes. When you have something to say, take part in the meeting.
Enjoy your time on the Internet. Enjoy your time without the Internet. All the things in your life are important. Make the Internet just one of them not all of them.