Personal communication has come a long way. We used to travel for days, weeks or months to actually see a person and deliver a message. Then we developed the postal system, the fax, and then email. And over the last couple of years, additional methods of communication have exploded. Unfortunately, or fortunately, most of these methods are immediate and impersonal – like texting, IM or Facebook wall posts. Has any of this made our relationships closer? Not necessarily. How many relationships can you really keep current and personal? Definitely not hundreds, as we try to do on Facebook and Twitter. But still, it’s become a necessary social tool in our personal lives. So much so that not understanding the unspoken rules of social networking and texting could completely ruin your love life – just ask social-networking-inept Hollywood assistant Emily from the office comedy Square One.
You’re lame if you’re not on Facebook. You’re behind if you have a first-generation iPhone, and let’s not even talk about those of you with flip phones. People quietly snicker if you don’t know what “sexting” is. So what happens to a society full of technology fears? We become obsessed with keeping up – which leads to addiction.
I bet you never said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a junkie,” or “When I grow up, I’m going to be a slave.” Guess what, we have all became junkies and slaves to technology. There are over 2.5 billion people who own a computer in the US alone. Like, ZOMG, we LOL but it’s true.
The first step toward recovery is knowing you have a problem. Do YOU? Here are 10 telltale signs that technology rules your life.
1. You prefer texting to human interaction.
A recent Pew Research study of kids ages 12-17 found that the average American teen sends 50 text messages a day or about 1,500 texts a month. One-third of American teens send more than 100 messages a day or more than 3,000 texts a month. Texting has surpassed all other forms of communicating with friends, including talking face-to-face. (Calling on a cell phone still remains critical when it comes to talking to parents.)
But you don’t have to be a teenager to succumb to the seduction of texting. Ask yourself this: Would I would rather walk into someone or something, like oncoming traffic, than take my eyes off of my phone – texting away, until I walk into a telephone pole? If your answer is, “What’s a telephone?” you’re addicted.
2. You “Google” people.
When you meet someone online, what’s the first thing you do before the first meeting? Easy. Right? But do you “Google” a potential love interest first – searching for past transgressions, unpaid parking tickets, unsavory pictures? You’d be surprised how much personal information in at one’s fingertips. Well, if you’re reading this, you probably won’t be surprised but rather horrified at the things that pop up on a Google Image search of your name. Have you looked lately? Go ahead. You know you want to Search Google Images. (FYI, why there is a picture of Justin Beiber on my Google Image Search is still a mystery.)
3. You are Facebook-obsessed.
There are over 200 million active users on Facebook. All those people can’t really know each other, but we still measure ourselves by the number of people that “accept” us. Some of us have taken it to another level – inviting friends of grandma, people we meet at gas stations and people we don’t really like to have as our “friends.”
Are you a Facebook Friend hoarder? Are you are more obsessed with having “friends” on Facebook, than maintaining the few friends you have in IRL? Are you checking Facebook right now in another window? You’re addicted.
4. You constantly use texting abbreviations.
Does your everyday conversation contain texting abbreviations?
• OMG (oh my god)
• ZOMG (zoh my god): It first originated as a typo when someone says “OMG” in caps and hits Z instead of pressing the left shift. It was picked up and used as a humorous way of saying omg and making fun of Internet slang in general.
• IRL (in real life)
• ROFL (rolling on floor laughing)
• TTYL (talk to you later): This one is ironic, because you probably won’t hear that person’s voice, LOL! (laugh out loud).
5. Your Bluetooth headset is a permanent accessory.
Life used to be so simple. If there was a person on the street or in the grocery store talking to themselves, that person was crazy. Everybody knew it. Now, that person could be crazy or just addicted to technology. With today’s tiny wireless Bluetooth headsets, you never know if someone is talking to you, someone on the phone or themselves. It makes for a very odd society where people avoid human interaction in public. Even weirder are those that put the headset on in the morning, like they do their watch, and go about their entire day with it on. Seriously people, you can miss a phone call. Or is voicemail passé?
6. Your business card includes your Twitter account.
Does your business card have the following information: Twitter name, Facebook URL, Gamer tag, Email(s), Website, Google Phone ID, Skype… everything except what you do and possibly even an actual phone number? If you’re laughing, you’re safe. If you’re working on an explanation why your gamer tag, slack3r4life247, is important to your business goals, just stop.
Read: If Obama Truly Embraced Social Media
7. Video games have replaced all other forms of entertainment in your life.
Do you put a strain on your family, marriage, relationship, job, because you must unlock the zombie level on Call of Duty? Do your kids’ toys cost less than yours? Do you attend Blizz-Con every year? Have you booked for next year yet? You haven’t? You better get on that!
8. You sext.
You are so hot for another person, you can barely contain it. So you show your unbridled passion by typing a text in your phone, so they can read that sexy, sexy font. On a positive note, it’s safe. On a negative note, you can be a virgin FOREVER! Sexting is great foreplay, but don’t let it become a habit. Eventually you are bound to make a mistake after a couple of drinks on a Friday night – like sexting your therapist Jennifer Malbec instead of the hottie you met last night, Jennifer Malaer.
9. You grab your gadgets before your keys or wallet when walking out the door.
Do you pretty much have the same tech devices with you, in different sizes, at all times – iPhone (small), iPAD (medium), MACBOOK (large)? Do you carry a Blackberry for business and a Droid for personal use? Have you ever driven away but turned around and gotten to work late because you forgot your cell phone – even though you have a phone and a computer at work?
It’s gotten to the point where not having access to our digital lives is scary. What will I be missing if I’m not connected? What if something awesome happens to me, and I can’t share it? You never know when you are going to have to text a post of your blog about a vlog then Skype about your DailyBooth tweet on Facebook.
10. You are reading this list to see if you are a tech addict.
If you are reading this article, then you are very likely addicted to technology. Did you find it on DIGG? Did you check it out on Tweetie using your Google phone? Ipad-ing it? Busted.