Technology – Are you dependent or addicted?

Interesting question. It’s not until I stop and think about how technology really impacts on my life that I consider it either. It is important to be able to differentiate between what is dependence and what is addiction. For example, you can be dependent on certain medication, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are addicted.

I’m writing this in Costa (the new walnut brownie hot chocolate is highly recommended by the way). The fact I’m in Costa with both my iPhone and iPad says something. Yes, I am in between lectures where I use it, but I still think I would feel weird without having these devices on me, particularly my phone. Plus, that’s a point within itself, using an iPad to take notes instead of traditional pen and paper. Why is this?

We were asked the question in a Digital Literacy seminar; how would we feel if we lost our phone. If we had no wifi? With regards to my phone, I know I would feel incredibly panicked if I lost it, but I genuinely think this is more to do with the cost implications of losing my phone, in that I really couldn’t afford a new one. I know I would still have other ways of communicating (I’m sure my Dad has an old brick somewhere from the 90s that I could borrow) so it’s definitely more about the cost rather than the inconvenience. Not having wifi? I can’t lie, I don’t like it. My mobile internet on my phone is very temperamental and I do like to look up different things when out and about: bus times, social media and random facts all feature heavily in my browsing history. I wouldn’t have been able to write this blog without it.Β But how did I survive when I couldn’t do this?

This is a question commonly put to me by various people. “We all coped before so why can’t we live without it now?” I’m not sure of the answer, I just know I find using technology incredibly helpful and I enjoy it. I personally don’t feel I am addicted to technology, but my boyfriend often moans, saying that I’m always on my iPad, or my phone, or my laptop. I think this is where different perceptions of what is “addiction” come into play.

There really is scope for a lengthy debate around this subject, however I need to finish my Costa and head to a seminar. Where do you think you rate on the technology dependence to addiction scale? Let me know in the comments πŸ™‚

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