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In a world of your own

By Christian Abe Garcia

Technology has helped us in a lot of ways. With computers and devices handling different tasks like computing and storing data, technology has helped people especially in the business world work much easier and faster.  And everybody would have to agree that everyday tasks such as driving, doing the laundry, cooking and other mundane chores seem effortless with the help of the technology and innovations integrated on cars, washing machines, kitchen appliances, etc.

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One of the biggest contributions that technology has given is education. Through computers, tablets, or even smartphones, students today don’t even need to go to the library to find information needed for their homeworks. A simple search in Google or any search engine for that matter, enables students to work and study efficiently

However, computers are not just used for education. They are also used to play video games or to chat with friends.  In short, they are also used for entertainment; and this “entertainment” aspect of technology could often lead to addiction not only for the young; but for the old as well. With the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, people are now often seen using technology everywhere they go.  Mobile phones are often used while waiting for household appliances like the washing machine do its job.   They are often used while commuting in a bus, train, or jeepney.  And while in school or in the office, people just can’t seem to let go off their devices. Even precious moments like eating as a family or spending time with friends are often interrupted by awkward silence brought about by obsessive tinkering on devices.  Now, it seems that we all lack proper communication skills.

While some are addicted to using tech devices, others are seemingly engrossed while using smartphones or computers.  Not being able to do more productive tasks while using these devices can be alarming and could lead to a syndrome known as the Technology Attention Deficit Disorder.

Although Technology Attention Deficit Disorder (or Tech ADD) is not a serious syndrome, it can be challenging and crippling. Tech ADD affects a certain habit and this habit of not being able to control themselves in using tech devices is time consuming.  It often leads to being unproductive.

Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself.  First, do you often find yourself easily and unconsciously distracted by websites that are irrelevant to your tasks?  Second, do you often take twice as long as you should when doing simple tasks in the computer? Third, and probably the most alarming question, do you constantly text or message someone through your smartphone or laptop while in a middle of a lecture, a speech or a conference?  Fourth, similar to third, whenever with friends or family, do you no longer comprehend whatever is being discussed over lunch or dinner because you were too busy texting or checking your phone, to the point that you always have your phone in your hands even while walking or just sitting on a bench?

The primary symptom for Tech ADD is that people can’t seem to detach themselves away from their devices.   People with Tech ADD would often not go through the day without checking their devices more than once.

As technology is now seemingly essential in our lives, it is not easy to control Tech ADD. Some even make it the center of their lives.  To them, it is their only means of communication to friends and family; a place where they can find solace and joy in times of stress or sadness; for them, it is an escape. Oftentimes, technology distracts us from finding a much more fruitful and productive source of fun and entertainment.  We all can do other things.  We can read books that can give us knowledge that we cannot find in the internet.  We can explore the country or even the world by going on a trip with our family or friends. Or we can simply just have an intimate conversation with our loved ones during meals.

Remember, it is not only in technology that we can find happiness. Technology may be important; but it should not control our lives. It should only help us find a better way to live our lives.   If we let technology run our daily lives, then we are just a few steps closer into being like robots: stoic and emotionless. The key to controlling Tech ADD is to realize what you lose whenever you are on your phone or computer.  Instead of wasting time on unnecessary tasks on our mobile devices, we should use the time by being with our loved ones.