Are we addicted?

I wanted to discuss this article that I read on Facebook this morning.

For those that don’t want to take the time to read it, it’s a man who talks about all the ways our generation cannot succeed at marriage anymore. It’s entirely about our dependence on social media.  Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. We spend our days sharing our lives with friends and strangers.

While I read the article I felt that some points made sense, and some just sounded like an angry divorcee trying to blame everything but himself for his failed marriage.  It did, however, get me thinking.

I have seen friends announce on Facebook that they would be “taking a break” or “stepping away” from social media. They always come back, within days, within hours. I’ve done this myself, announced that my friends would see less posts from me as I try to “un plug” and live in the “real world” for a while.

I personally spend 90% of my waking hours on the internet. I wake up in the morning and get ready for work, spending 20 or so minutes I have after getting ready and before leaving to log into ESO and check if I’ve sold anything and feed my horses and research crafting traits. Or I get on Facebook and read, or get on the ESO roleplay forums to see if anyone responded to my most recent witty comment.

Then I go to work, listening to podcasts or music the whole way. I then spend the next 8 or so hours on the computer. Granted I’m working, but I have periods when work slows or I just need a break and I alt-tab to Facebook to chat with friends. When I get home from work it’s back online, either to stream Netflix or Hulu, or play ESO, or spend hours watching videos on Youtube.

I’ve tried to give it up. I’ve made the same announcement that I’m going to cut back on my internet dependency.  It hasn’t worked.  For a while my tiny house plans included plans of ditching my gaming desktop for a little tablet notebook and spending more time out and about and less time online. I planned to take my tablet to parks, or the beach, and sit and read or draw or write. Part of me would still like to do that.

But then a few days ago I had a little panic-crisis when I accepted that my computer was going to need a new graphics card soon. I was torn… part of me wondered why spend $300+ dollars to upgrade a computer that in a couple years I’d be replacing with a Microsoft Surface or something similar, but the other part of me wanted a gaming computer that could play games at max graphics settings. And that little argument led to me entirely doubting my desire to live in a tiny house.

The couple of times I’ve tried to give up my internet dependency I’ve failed miserably. So have a few of my Facebook friends who always come back after such announcements. It got me wondering: are we addicted?  And whether we are or not, is it a problem? Or is it just the natural path our society is taking with the advent of all this technology?  Should we fight it or embrace it? Should it bother us or excite us? Is it really ruining marriage? And if it is, is that a bad thing or is marriage just an archaic institution of the past that should be forgotten?

Or is the article way off?  Is marriage success actually on the rise? is he just an angry divorcee looking to lay blame? I don’t really care about marriage, I never intend to be wed. But I am curious about what the future holds. If 100 years from now we will live our lives strapped to gurneys and plugged into the Matrix. Or like the fat people in Wall-E with screens always in front of their faces.

The world, she is a-changin’

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