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Users

Technology is great. My internet connection was down for a few days and it was really difficult to work! No, really, sad as it may sound, I was hopelessly lost and unproductive. And, as always, it triggered some thoughts.

Drug addicts are called ‘users’…

…and the same word is applied to those of us who are addicted to gadgets. And I think I’m on the verge of an addiction. But, an addiction is only bad if it starts to become a problem, right?

I need a fix of emails every so often. The damned inbox sits there, pinging away during my working from home days, basically stopping me working from home! It’s a problem. I attend meetings where managers have 2 or 3 mobiles lined up on the desk. And at break time they don’t get a coffee, they scrabble for their mobiles. It’s a problem. It’s common for users to be using on trains and in supermarkets and even in the pub. It’s a problem. We see people sitting by the pool, emailing work. It’s most definitely a problem!

And, have you noticed that users are getting younger. I had an email from a friend who lives abroad. A newish mum in fact. She sent me a lovely pic of her daughter’s first birthday with a proud note that said, ‘she’s just about walking, gurgling and loves to pretend she’s on a mobile phone. It’s so sweet.’ Excuse me? Like it’s a good thing! It’s obviously a worldwide problem!

‘Blackberry’s have been nicknamed ‘crackberries’. There’s an epidemic of ‘toasted thigh syndrome’, caused by excessive use of a laptop on your knee. And, get this, there’s even ‘vibrating thigh syndrome’ (phantom vibrating in your pocket, even when your moby is switched off!). Have you experienced it? Yep, me too!

We’re Facebooking and Tweeting. We’re meeting our perfect partners on line. I really wish I had a solution. Maybe it’s not a problem at all? Maybe me having a problem with it is the problem? The juggernaught of technological progress ain’t going to wait for me.

What would a 2%er do? I guess they’d be positive about the change. I guess they’d go with the flow, do the best they can. But, at the forefront of my mind is this… my PhD research is showing, very clearly, that having strong human relationships is one of the major ingredients of happiness. I have an uneasy feeling that 100 friends on Facebook doesn’t actually equate to the same level of happiness as 1 genuine face-to-face flesh-and-blood chum who you can go to the pub with.

I’m confused about this blog. Technology is great? Right? But the top 10 happiest days of my life are all days that have been spent without technology.

And that’s worth thinking about.

A x

Having said all that – we’ll be running two half day Art of Being Brilliants at Exeter Uni on March 21st. Use technology to find out more… click here. Then switch of your mobiles and calm that vibrating thigh with a half day’s antidote to busyness!

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