I am diverting from the usual subjects I write about to contribute my thoughts for a contest to win a book, Addict Nation. Tia at BizChickblogs has offered a copy of Addict Nation to one lucky, albeit random, winner. I have something to say about the subject of addictions and since this is my blog, I’m going to share them here. If you want to share yours as well, go on over to BizChickblogs and find out how to enter.
The addiction I want to talk about is one we all are getting quite familiar with. In our culture today, we depend upon this item almost as much as food, thanks to technology and smart forward thinkers like Mark Zuckerberg and going back to Bill Gates. It’s the computer. It’s all that the computer encompasses. Whether its gaming, social media, blogging, forums, or banking we have come to depend on and therefore develop an addiction to using computers.
I am included in this group of computer addicts. I realize I need to make some changes but they are very hard to do. I do a lot of good online but when I cross the line into doing too much online, then I have to take a step back and evaluate my actions. My time online is spent doing various things such as email, Facebook, Twittering, message forums, recipe searching, blogging, some game playing, research for any number of interests, gathering homeschooling information, banking, sharing & uploading photos and even chatting with my girls. See they are all perfectly good and clean things but any one of them could keep me buried in front of this screen for hours on end. When it interferes with my daily responsibilities and duties then I know I’m into the addiction stage. There are seasons of this for me. Some days I can walk away from this thing and the outside world I am connected to through it and other days I just cannot find the strength in me to do that. I know the reasons, the deep down and buried ones, that cause this. I am not going to share those here but trust me, the computer or being online is not going to help in the long run.
I see a generation or two of kids who have grown up or are growing up with one or both of their parents spending a lot of time in front of a computer. I know if I’m online as much as I am and see a lot of my friends spending that time as well, one can only wonder about the kids and what they are doing. This is not an easy subject and I don’t mean to step on toes. I definitely think it can use some attention just like those kids, the spouse or even your house. It could even be your job that needs your attention. Whatever it is, evaluate yourself and what you are doing on the computer and ask yourself the hard questions.
I’ve given up several games I was quite addicted to through Facebook and felt much better about myself. Slowly I have filled that time with other online or computer activities instead of focusing on other needs. I am going to be taking a step back to re-evaluate my habits again and make some serious changes. It’s needed for my well-being and for the health of my family as well. I know I have an addictive personality so I feel like I am already 3 steps behind in the game but I am determined to win the battle if not the war.
In the words of one of the most famous and well-known addiction recovery programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, I’ll take it “one day at a time“.
Editing to add this further commentary: While I was at the laundromat the local news was on the tv. There was a story highlighting a “new” technology to hit the supermarkets designed to help parents. There are now portable dvd screens in those kiddie carts the kids can ride in. You know the ones that look like a car attached to the cart? Yeah, so what message is being sent to those little toddlers? Entertainment should be in your face 24/7, it’s your right! When will we learn?