Did You Have A New Year’s Resolution About Using Technology?


Three New York Times stories in the last few days may look unrelated, yet they are intimately connected.

One was a story of how the F.D.A is finding that attention deficit drugs are in short supply and millions of children and adults who depend on them are unable to find these prescriptions.  In 2010 51.5 million prescriptions were written for attention related prescriptions.

A second story called The Joy of Quiet by Pico Iyer, was subtitled “trying to escape the constant stream of information.”

In a third story, Nick Bilton  wrote about how he almost missed a beautiful vacation trying to capture it on a four inch iPhone screen. (We all know that feeling.)  His New Year’s resolution was to step away from his iPhone for 30 minutes a day.

There are many reasons why people are taking over 50 million subscriptions of attention deficit drugs a years but it’s likely that this constant stream of (self-imposed) exponentially growing information is one reason.

Several months ago, I wrote about The Age Of Anti-Social Media for Jason Falls over at Social Media Explorer and offered some suggestions for what the content producers might do about the firehose of content we’re creating.  It’s preventive medicine for what’s to come when the inevitable overload hits consumers.

It has most likely dawned on you or someone you spend a lot of time with that not only is the incessant attachment to technology annoying, it is counterproductive to productivity, creativity, family, and even connectedness itself.

I know I spend far too much time in front of a screen.  Part of it is the fact that it’s my job.  I know that plenty of that time is spent doing productive work but in between, in the evenings, walking on the street, sitting at someone’s house, it becomes a bit much.  I can feel my fingers itching to check email when there’s no reason to. I didn’t make a resolution this year, but I can see one coming.

I’d be surprised if in coming years, scheduling regular time away from technology doesn’t take its place alongside “losing weight” and “getting more exercise” on peoples’ list of New Year’s resolutions in coming years. What that means is that we’re going to have to get more focused about what we do spend our time on when we look at the screen.  Yes, it’s fun to find that serendipitous new person by aimlessly meandering around Twitter or through a bunch of blogs, but it’s more likely that at the end of the year, along with that resolution, you’ll be unsubscribing to newsletters, blogs, unfollowing people on Twitter, or just ignoring them, and focusing only on those who consistently produce exceptional, hard-to find, useful content that finds its way through the noise. It’s going to raise the bar for all of us.


One Response to Did You Have A New Year’s Resolution About Using Technology?
  1. Kendrick
    November 14, 2020 | 2:16 am

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