I just finished my first read of Adam Alter’s Irresistible. I clarified “my first read” because I am going to start it again today. I social media-ed that “I can’t put it down,” partly for the irony, partly because I really enjoyed the read.
We are, most of us, addicted to technology that didn’t exist at the turn of the century. If we aren’t addicted, we have certainly learned to rely heavily upon it.
Case in point: I tried the other day to remember how I got directions and found places before google maps and gps technology.
All I could think of was Mapquest. Mapping and printing out maps and carrying them with me.
Alter doesn’t spend much time on using our phones to find our next lunch stop. Rather, he digs into why we are so addictable and how high tech and low tech companies keep us hooked.
His thesis relies on behavioral addiction being analogous to substance addiction, and, while you might not buy this link, I do.
After all, I have a fitbit, and have had one since 2012.
That’s when I joined the health care plan I have currently, so that’s when I became eligible to earn rewards for reaching or achieving certain activity levels. Since then, I can assure you, I have averaged a little more than 12,000 steps per day. My resting heart-rate, since I “upgraded” to a tracker that monitors my pulse, has averaged 59 this year.
Alter suggests that fitness trackers lead us to place our emphasis in the wrong place. We walk (or run) for the sake of the counter, rather than for health.
I had to admit this morning there may be some truth to this contention.
I’ve been a runner for at least 7 years. That’s when I became a father again at age 46, and committed to being a vital 64 and 66 when my 2 younger kids graduate.
But I achieved the final level of reward that my health plan offers during the first week of December.
And I haven’t run very much since then. I’ve been lacking the motivation.
When I started, good health was all the motivation I needed. It seems the opportunity for cash rewards (and, honestly, not all that much cash) has blurred that original vision.
I am going to keep wearing my fitbit – it serves as my watch, after all! – but I think my motivation needs a bit of
How’s your motivation? Are you distracted by technology, or have you found ways to keep it’s addictive nature in check? If you have developed practices to integrate tech into your life but not let it run you, please let me know, and share them. Because this confrontation isn’t going to get any easier!