So, I was reading this article where the author mentioned the following statistics:
- In 2009, the average American watched more than 151 hours of TV a month — an all-time high
- 84% of people check their PDAs just before bed and as soon as they wake up — and an astounding 85% peek at their PDAs in the middle of the night!
- One survey found that over a third of smartphone users would pick their BlackBerry over their significant other if they had to choose one to live without!
and the first one doesn’t shock me too much. I mean, more Americans were unemployed in 2009 (and in 2010!) and probably need something to take away the job-less days. TV is usually a sure-fire way to fill in time when you desperately want something to do, but either can’t find that something or are too depressed to make the move to at least try.
I can make sense of the second statistic, too, because you have to check if you missed an urgent call or text message during the day. It’d be like not checking your answering machine when you step back into your house, and then realizing days later that you missed the birth announcement of your best friend’s baby–it always happens that when you don’t check, important stuff comes in. Checking the phone on waking up, well, that makes sense to me, too: it’s my clock/alarm clock/calendar all rolled into one tiny package. I don’t have an alarm clock with gigantic red LCD digits glaring at me, and the wall clock is too far away for me to read without my glasses on. And for some reason, the first thing I think of when I wake up in the middle of the night or at the first sign of light is “what time is it?” Time is one of those all-important markers which, if you screw up, ruins your whole day. So, checking the phone might just be more innocent than the mark of Connection Addiction™.
But the third stat? What the heck is up with people choosing their gadget over the significant other in their life? Either they’re just filling time with people they know are wrong for them, or they are just really cold and disconnected. Well, there may be a few other reasons, but those are the top two explanations that occur to me.
How much have you scaled back your Connection Addictions™ (if you ever had one)? I know that in the past few weeks, my sister and I have been replacing Internet time with cooking (in her case) and sewing (in mine), and it’s been awesome. I keep thinking to myself, “why did I stop sewing? That was such a dumb thing to do!” As far as hobbies go, it’s way more productive and satisfying…but fulfilling the Connection Addiction™ is definitely easier. Cooking and baking just leave so many dirty dishes behind, and sewing requires all the cutting, and thread snipping, and what-not…but the internet is clean, clicking fun.
But it doesn’t leave snazzy outfits hanging in your closet. Or tasty treats on your kitchen table.
What have you given up for the Internet, if anything?
(Yes, I’m “trademarking” the term Connection Addiction. Unless somebody else already has.)