As you may know, I purchased my first smartphone about ten years ago. I never could have predicted how much I’d depend on it each day. Recently, I came across an interesting article about how Gossip Girl seemed to predict how we now interact with technology and social media. That was one of my favorite shows when I was in middle and high school. What was so unique about it at the time was how the Internet pretty much invaded the personal lives of the main characters. Their secrets and relationships would be revealed on Gossip Girl’s blog throughout the series. Nowadays, this doesn’t seem so scandalous because of how connected we are to the Internet and each other. So, how have we become more dependent on technology over the years?
We Need To Be Connected 24/7
Do you remember what it’s like to hear complete silence and read a book without any distracting notifications? I couldn’t until I started making a conscious effort to turn my phone off. Like many other people, I feel the need to be connected to everyone 24/7. Rarely do I put my phone on silence, because what if I don’t answer that text or email right away? It’s hard to disconnect when people expect us to get back to them at all times. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to go camping for several days without any reception.
Shopping Addictions Are More Common
Shopping addictions aren’t new – just look at Mrs. Lincoln back in the 1800’s. The difference is that we now have devices that let us make purchases in a matter of minutes. We can buy virtually anything in just a few clicks. Plus, when you aren’t paying in cold, hard cash, it’s a little more difficult to grasp just how much you’re spending. Shopping addictions are a very real problem that have made us even more dependent on technology.
We Have Major FOMO
In one of my favorite episodes of Broad City, “Hashtag FOMO,” Abbi and Ilana spend a night in search of the perfect party because they don’t want to miss out on something phenomenal. I think a lot of us can relate to this mindset – we might enjoy what we’re doing, but what if there’s something else out there that’s even better? FOMO (fear of missing out) becomes second-nature when we’re all constantly seeing how other people live their lives.
Now that we know we’re dependent on technology, we need to figure out what to do about it. Personally, I try to turn my phone off at least an hour before I go to sleep. This lets me decompress from my day and leaves me time for my other hobbies, like reading. Find out what works for you!