I got the iphone in October 2007. Yeah, I didn’t get it first and most people would think I am the “have to get the first tech thing” kinda guy. Well, once I got it I thought it was going to be life changing. But it wasn’t. I was demoing all the cool things I could do with it and a friend asked me if it makes calls I responded “I haven’t tried yet…”
But so much for memory lane. The phone didn’t really change my life, not till years later when it became more popular and apps started coming around. Then came “alerts.” Well alerts were like the neatest thing. I could know when I got an email, a text, or anything. Well the ADD person inside of me got a dopamine hit when this happened.
Now years later if left to everything alerting me, my phone would buzz constantly and the dopamine would blow whatever hair is left on my head off. Between social media, email, texts, dating apps, workout apps, podcast, streaming media apps, shopping apps, my home automation apps I can tape my phone to a glass of milk with some U-bet chocolate syrup and get chocolate milk in no time. Shaken not stirred..
I wondered what all these alerts are doing to me. Do these short term hits affect my job, my relationships, my family? Do I spend time thinking how to get a hit? Is this a relationship between other kinds of addiction (drugs/alcohol etc.) and the dopamine from alerts. And if there is, are only certain people affected by it? Am I ?
Then I started wondering what effect this has on my kids. They have grown up in a world where this was the dopamine hit they would get. They are not getting it from person to person interactions. In fact their person to person interactions are waiting for alerts or likes. At one point there even was a company that rated how important you were and gave you a “klout” score based on the likes/followers you had.
Well with all that on my head, i figured i would post the thought on facebook and see how many people like it. NOT. I wrote it here, more to get my thoughts out on paper. And wonder what I can do not to fall into the trap. And what do I say to my kids about the trap. I think social media has some great things, texting is fun, etc. But humans are social creatures, and a visit with some close friends reminds me of it. During times of covid people may have lost that interaction, and found the dopamine hit. But that does not match the feeling of seeing someone in person, having a great conversation and hearing the elation in their voice.
I know I use texts, probably too much. But I often do it as the ADD in me multitasks a lot. I wonder if it is an excuse to get a free dopamine hit? But hopefully when Covid is over I will go back to doing things with other people. Not sure I will talk on the phone as the last time I called a friend we were on for 2 hours. And often when i call someone its a long chat, and sometimes I just don’t have the time for that. But seeing someone in person gives them the time, which is your most valuable asset.
I probably can’t get rid of my phone, as how would I text someone to tell them I want to meet them anyway. Well back to posting some funny meme to get a like on instagram and facebook, we will chat later.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.