Is there a twelve step program for digital addiction?
If there isn’t, there should be.
Had you asked me a week ago if I am addicted to my digital devices, I’d have said, “Me?” Chuckle. Chuckle. “No way.”
That was a week ago.
Our internet went out a week ago, and only recovered yesterday.
The human race existed for many years before the advent of the internet. We wrote letters. Read books made out of paper. Sent in orders on the order sheet stapled in the middle of the catalog. Wrote checks. Looked at our paper bank statements. Survival is possible without the internet. It’s just not as easy, quick and efficient.
I couldn’t pay bills like I do on the internet. I couldn’t order a couple of items that we need.
I was in the mood to read a book I’d purchased from Amazon. Since I have the thumbnail of the book cover, I thought I had the book on my digital notebook. Not so. I apparently have only the link to the title that is only available to me only as long as I have internet up and working. I couldn’t open any of my purchased books to read.. Even though I’d bought them.
I needed to look up the spelling of a word I wanted to use in my writing. Nope. The dictionary mounted on my computer didn’t work. We had no internet. And in our infinite wisdom when we moved, we donated all paper dictionaries to the local library.
I still had email on my phone, but none on the computer. Phone info is so small one can read it only with a magnifying glass so that wasn’t much help.
I use the Overdrive app to get e-books from the library. I was still able to read books I’d already checked out and downloaded, but I couldn’t go online to follow up on titles that I’d encountered and wanted to read.
As a former librarian I was, years ago, shocked and horrified to hear that some of the important records of the Vietnam war that were recorded digitally had been lost with no paper backups. My bank and my credit cards want me to go paperless, and I have considered this. Less trash, clutter and pending filing. However, I doubt I will give up my paper records. At least I have some of the information I use still available even if the internet light on the modem is red rather than green.
A friend was robbed recently and lamented the lack of photos of her space for insurance purposes. Take photos, she’d told me. Along those same lines, I suggest that as you surf the internet, you form the habit of copying, saving, and backing up your data as you work. Each day before you turn off the computer, do a final backup. It’s easy to forget that the internet is an electrical process and very vulnerable to wind storms, solar flares and other misadventures.
As for my digital addiction, if liking the digital processes that make living easier, quicker and more efficient through access to the internet, then yes, I guess I’m digitally addicted. But after this past week’s famine, I’m also hitting my computer’s “Save” button and “Print” button more frequently.