Recently I realized I was suffering from Technology Addiction. Shockingly, I asked myself, “Could this be me, writer of the Live Like You Can Blog, upbeat fitness trainer and student of higher thoughts? I discovered indeed, it was me!
My addiction became apparent to me after 2 weeks of recording my positive vs. negative feelings on a daily basis. Discovering my positivity ratio was the purpose of the homework for my professional coaching class.
Once the ratio was known, it would be easier for me to change and meet Barbara Fredrickson’s Positivity Ratio of 3 positive feelings to 1 negative feeling a day. Barbara’s research proved that once someone attained this ratio on a regular basis they could become a “glass half full” person.
Barbara says, “Just like tracking calories or cash flows can heighten your awareness and in time help you meet your fitness or financial goals, tracking your positivity ratio can help you raise your ratio and build your best future. Results may vary. Best outcomes emerge from sincere and heartfelt efforts to raise your ratio coupled with honest reports of your emotion experiences.”
Most of my tracking resulted in a 3 to 1 or higher ratio, which I absolutely expected to see. What I didn’t expect to find was a totally negative day (which at first, I hesitated to track) when my cell phone stop functioning.
This discovery lead to a 6-hour siege at the cell phone company. Without going into long boring explanations of exactly what happened, the result of the time spent was a failure, an expensive endeavor and a low positivity ratio.
Looking back over the day, I realized that 8 hours of my 24-hour day were spent feeling negative emotions. How could the cell phone have taken over my feelings so completely? I must be addicted to what is now the extension of my hand. How did this 24/7 relationship with a cell phone happen to me so unintentionally?
While it didn’t happen overnight (I think I would of noticed), it did happen over the last few years. Slowly I went from checking my voice messages on my message machine once or twice a day to obsessively checking for emails, calls and texts on my cell phone.
My obsession unwittingly had become my new normal. Unconsciously, I slowly developed a technology addiction and was willing to give up a day to negative energy while having thoughts of “it’s not fair, why is this so hard, I can’t be without it, just fix it, please!”
To sum up the experience which resulted in my “wake up call,” I must thank Barbara Fredrickson for her positive ratio daily tracker which gave me the awareness of the choices I made that day. Without tracking, it is likely that I would let the day slide by being glad it was over and would of learned nothing from this negative experience.
Now I know I have a choice to either feed the addiction or to let it fade into the background of my life. As I begin to explore whether I can or want to recover from this addiction, I ask myself, “What will I choose? “How do I stop? Can I stop? Do I want to stop? What would I give up? Is that ok?”
I don’t yet have the answers to these questions. However, I now recognize that I have a choice in how I deal with technology problems and the feelings can accompany them.
I offer these questions for you to ponder and suggest if you do not know the answers, you might want to sign up for Barbara’s 2 week daily positive negative ratio test.