Humans and no technology… put together, it’s difficult to imagine. Now this combination added to whining and tears. I can see. Tell a kid you’re taking away his Wii, X-Box, palm pilot, laptop, TV, cell-phone… and oowee, I can see a full-on war about to rage. And I understand why. It would be like going to rehab. Except in this case, the addiction isn’t drugs. It’s external stimuli through technology-that-entertains.
Most humans today, old and young, unknowingly suffer from external stimulus addiction. Do you carry your cell phone into the bathroom with you? Do you have a TV in your kitchen? Is it on when you are cooking or eating? Do you use the TV in your car? When you eat at a restaurant or drink coffee in a coffee-house, do you bring a computer or cell phone with you? Do you ever watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time? Have you ever sped, run home, driven through a red light, crashed your car, canceled a date, or hung up on a friend just to make it in time for a long-awaited TV moment?
We bombard ourselves today with electrical waves from a multitude of sources, coming from every direction, stimulating our senses 24/7. So, is it hard to believe we are addicted to these waves? The only difference between this addiction and drug addiction is: one is accepted by society and one is not.
Both are stimuli. Both cost. Both are purchased even when they are too costly to afford. Both come in various forms and formulas. Both temporarily remove you from the reality of your world. Both leave you unsatisfied, wanting more. Both destroy the body and senses when used indiscriminately. And both can destroy your life and the lives around you. What is addiction but the inability to control the need for something even in the face of health, social, financial, and legal consequences.
As with drugs or alcohol, eliminating these stimuli from our system causes withdrawal symptoms like irritability, depression, loss of concentration, weight gain, anger, insomnia and confusion. I experienced a few of these symptoms myself when I eliminated TV from my diet. It was hard in the beginning. But like everything else, it became easier with time. It saved me a bundle too. I haven’t owned a TV in over 3 years. Not to say I will never own one again. I probably will. Except now, I have freed myself from the constant need to watch it or have it on, playing in the background. In the process, I have also freed myself from constant manipulation of my senses and mind by controlling agents strategically placed within TV programs.
Other external stimuli I have denied myself in the past are: home internet access, video games, radio, and the movie theater. I recommend everyone try it. Try eliminating one or two external stimuli from your life for a few months. I guarantee you more moments of clarity, more time and a change in how you look at life and the world around you.