Toxic Technology: The Computers Really Are Taking over Our Lives!
Technology is Beautiful. Technology is Inspiring. Technology is Toxic.
If you spend an enormous amount of time being self-aware, you will eventually pick up on your own negative and “toxic” behavior. I have confessed to a few toxic actions this morning already!
I got upset because of an incident that took place 20 years ago, and I lied to my wife (If you are reading this, honey, I’m sorry).
The thing is, none of my toxic actions or behavior ever included technology. Technology is never part of my bullshit. Right?
Or is it?
Have you ever noticed how negative technology makes us feel? How technology plays with our emotions and feelings. Sure, we are to blame for our behavior and problems. But are we aware of how toxic devices like smartphones, computers, watches, etc. can make us feel?
Let me explain further to help you become more aware of tech’s dark side while also offering some possible solutions.
Toxic tech is an excellent name for a business. It is also the belief that specific devices can be harmful to our health (hello, 5G).
The toxic tech that I worry about often is the one that constantly messes with my brains. I love technology so much to the point that it hurts!
Too much of anything is bad, and our desire for tech is dysfunctional and alarming. However, we still continue to “over-do it” with our devices while spending our time acquiring new tech.
For example, I regularly catch myself spending hours shopping for a new smartphone on my current smartphone that’s barely a year old! There’s no need to behave this way. I should rather spend my time being productive instead of watching a dozen iPhone 12 YouTube videos or comparing a sea of devices with each other on Samsung’s website.
But nevertheless, I still do this almost daily sometimes. It’s habitual by this point. And the truth is, habits can be bad and toxic. Yes, it’s common sense, but sometimes you have to spell things out to yourself to realize that your actions are wrong.
Here are some toxic tech examples:
- Always planning your next device
- Letting your device take over your life and influence your behavior
There are a dozen more scenarios out there that can deem technology as toxic (just watch Black Mirror!). For this post, I’ll focus on the three mentioned above.
Always Planning Your Next Device
I touched on this earlier; our ability to use our current device to research our next device while the current device is well within its lifespan is incredible. It could be that our dopamine levels skyrocket when we fantasize about acquiring something new and shiny.
Smartphone brands understand this well. They constantly innovate and release new tech with high refresh rate screens and fast charging to expose us to “new highs.” These features excite us while making our old devices seem obsolete (when they are not).
Whatever the case may be, this is toxic behavior.
Obsessing about the past and future is considered toxic behavior. This behavior does not allow you to live in the moment and appreciate what is going on right now.
For example, obsessing about how a co-worker did you wrong will distract you from the work you need to complete now. Always thinking about your next pay increase or promotion will also distract you.
Staying in the moment and focusing only on the task at hand will help you increase productivity and workflow. Focusing on the present clears your mind, which can also help you conclude that this job isn’t for you, and you should change carriers.
Back to the Future: Past and Future Tech
Likewise, with technology, focusing on tech from the past and the future can distort your present. It can preoccupy your mind and distract you from the present challenges at hand.
Sticking to smartphones, here's a simple example:
A person that obsessively talks about how much they loved their Blackberry from 2010 and how they are now preparing themselves for the 2021 iPhone 13 (because the iPhone 12 doesn't have a 120Hz display).
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash
This behavior doesn't allow us to enjoy the device we have because we obsessively miss old features or crave new features and innovation.
Solution: Live in the Now
Tell yourself that you are exactly where you need to be. Take a deep breath and soak in the excitement of the present. Be patient and stop focusing on “the next big thing.” When the time comes for you to upgrade, there might be something better than you imagined waiting for you.
If you are discouraged by your current device that is midway through its life-cycle, then perhaps you can give it a fresh start by adding a case, upgrading components, or installing new software and skins.
Your Device Controls You
Our electronic devices are tools that are meant to improve the quality of our lifestyles.
We are the ones that control our devices. However, this isn’t always the case. Our devices control us and influence our behavior!
We can no longer just enjoy ourselves and our environment without taking out our device to take pictures. A family can no longer go out for supper and enjoy each other’s company because everybody is on their phones.
Teenage kids disregard hygiene, love, adventure, and any form of human interaction because they spend all of their time on their gaming consoles.
Image Credit: Wall-E
Some people are so much better to interact with online in a game than they are in person.
The above statement sounds idiotic, but trust me, I have awkward relatives that can communicate with me better when playing Fortnite than they can in person.
Solution: Go Old School
Technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier, fun, and engaging. There’s never a dull moment. However, there’s also nothing wrong with having dull moments. There’s nothing wrong with not watching The Umbrella Academy right now or finishing Red Dead Redemption 2 this weekend.
All can wait. As humans, it’s unnatural for us to be exposed to so much information all the time with so little physical activity. It’s possible to change things up by switching off devices and reading a book or taking long walks.
Think of it as a Digital Reset. I’m sure you have reset your console or smartphone recently? So why not reset your mind too?
Tech is fantastic, which is why there is nothing wrong with loving your electronic devices. Technology drastically improves our lives. However, a lot of these benefits are proving costly for most.
- We are more focused on the future instead of enjoying the present.
- Interacting with people online is better than interacting with someone face-to-face.
- We take better care of our avatars than we do ourselves.
This post’s purpose isn’t to convince you to ditch your tech but to merely bring some awareness to how we can develop toxic habits when using our gadgets.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying tech, but you should also try to enjoy life and all its wonders too!
Advanced Online Marketer, Content Manager, and Writer for vyper.ai/blog This is where I share my most valuable marketing lessons, mistakes, and career goals.