Issue #261

Addiction

Are you an addict?

Before I went out to San Diego, I was invited into a Facebook group for “Positive Political Discussion”. There’s some irony right there. 😉 But, I accepted the invite.

See, like many, I admit that I do like to talk politics sometimes. I truly enjoy talking with people of other viewpoints and so it was nice (at the time) to see a group where that was the idea.

But, here’s what happened…

First, while it was true that people were being nice to each other and not bashing, the TOPICS of discussion certainly weren’t very positive. As you can imagine, Trump was pretty much the topic du jour. Seems like everybody just spends their days thinking about that man. 😉

But worse…

I found myself wasting a TON of time. An embarrassing amount.

And it even snowballs. Because, when your productivity drops, it becomes like this self-fulfilling thing. Your morale drops. You get lazy. And then because you don’t know what to do or don’t particularly feel like it, you go to the low-hanging fruit – Facebook. It is a self-fulfilling loop.

I don’t care how much they were trying to keep things positive… It was not positive! People were in that group talking about things they cannot affect, cannot do anything about, etc. And instead of doing something USEFUL and REAL, they were sitting there in the middle of the day researching Trump scandals. What a stupid, STUPID waste of time!

Fast forward a few days. I was sitting there in San Diego at the conference. The topics being discussed were about REAL things. Building businesses, serving others, making money, etc. Things that matter.

But, like all conferences, there was some downtime between sessions or whatever. And I found myself doing what addicts do…

I whipped out my phone to see what’s going on. Ugh.

And there’s this freakin’ group. And the memes. And the stupidity.

And the vast gap between real life and the idiocy of Facebook hit me like a ton of bricks.

I started to look at all these people talking politics and posting memes as lost souls. Engaging in serial stupidity for vast chunks of their day.

And those vast chunks of the day spent reading CNN and arguing is time they were NOT spending doing things that are actually fruitful or real.

That’s time that they’re not spending achieving their goals. Attending to their health. Spending time with their loved ones.

No, instead, they were engaging in being flippin’ idiots.

So, one of the decisions I made at that conference was to stop.

I was acting like an addict.

I was one of those people who couldn’t take a little bit of downtime, so I whipped out my phone.

It is HURTING people. It is hurting ourselves. All for nothing.

When I was leaving San Diego, I was in line for the TSA. And for a moment, I just looked around at the people who were in line.

Many of them (especially the younger ones) were sitting there on their phones. Totally oblivious to anybody.

But, one of the couples had a little girl with them. While all these adults were wasting brain cells texting or scrolling social media, that little girl had no phone. I was purposely keeping my phone in my pocket. And I saw the little girl and she gave me a big grin. 🙂 And I gave her a little wave.

You know, those little downtimes are how people connect. It is how people get to know each other.

When I see people sitting together in restaurants, not speaking to each other, but instead sitting on their phones… I am sad. And honestly a little annoyed.

I’m not perfect. I’ve done it, too.

But, I’m recovering. 🙂

Since I got home, I am very intentionally not using my phone as much. At night, I won’t even look at it. I’m giving myself the permission and the head space to sit there doing NOTHING with my kids because even that is better than trying to keep my mind busy on that phone. We talk. My kids and I have played Taboo. He likes to play Uno. 🙂

I’ll end with this…

Are you an addict?

Do you find yourself picking up your phone at every little bit of down time? Do you find yourself going to social media when you’re bored, or when you don’t really know what to do next… or don’t feel like working?

That’s addiction. It just is.

And if you try to stop, you feel a pull. Like you’re missing something. Well guess what, that’s what an alcoholic might feel like. Or a smoker. Or a porn addict. Or a person trying to quit drinking soda. It’s all the same.

Seeking a dopamine hit. Like an addict.

Maybe… just maybe…

We need to re-evaluate our relationship to social media.

 

– David

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