Posted by: sherryvalenti | June 6, 2011

Tech Addiction?

Anyone else have a technology addiction?  I have an iPhone, and sometimes I find myself checking in on news, email, etc. several times a day.  Luckily, I have my kids, so there are many times when I am so busy I don’t have a chance to check in at all.   It’s almost subconscious, the way I reach for my phone.  I did sign Oprah’s No Phone Zone pledge, and I really do think it helps me commit to being phone-free in the car.

After looking around, I found some information that suggests tech addiction might be a real thing, with real side effects.  Check out these article from WebMD and The Telegraph.

Throughout this course you might experience “tech saturation”.  I identify with this article by Steve Holt of Technorati.  How do you manage the amount of information out there, and how do you stop it from becoming overwhelming?



  1. I actually left my phone at school one time over night and I kept wanting to check my messages, but I did not have it. Technology has certainly taken over our lives. I think it is a great idea that you signed the pledge. I always watch those commercials that say what part of the text message the person was writing when they were in a terrible accident. It really makes you think twice especially when you have young children to take care of and have in your car with you. Great thought provoking post!
    -Courtney Anderson

    • My husband and I also try to cut down on our cell phone converations while driving. I could never forgive myself if something happed to our little boy because we were taking on our phones. With that being said…Nathan (my husband) and I have some of our best conversations on the phone. The funny part is we are usally both at home when this takes place. Nathan will be in the barn and I will call to see when he is coming in for dinner and then we start talking about something completely different. It is hard for us to have a face to face converation in the house b/c of Benton, the dog, and the cats all wanting our attention at the same time!

  2. I am myself, and I know many others who have an attachment to their phones. I read somewhere (can’t remember the source- it was a while ago) that a large number of young adults sleep with their phone. I thought it was a funny commentary, but hey, I do it too! My phone is my alarm clock, my email, my texts, my games, my music. Oh yes, and also my phone is my phone. 🙂 I am guilty of tech saturation, and it’s only gotten worse as phones have begun to do more and more. I am trying to “rely” on my phone less, but honestly, I pay enough per month– why should I not use it?

  3. Ok, this is the 4th time, I am trying to post on here.. Everytime it keeps telling me to enter a valid email, and each time nothing looks wrong with my email.. UGHH!
    SO anyway, what I wrote that didn’t seem to post was how I can honestly say, I have an iPhone ADDICTION!! I am not proud to say that I feel attached to my phone and lost without it, but that’s the reality! LOL Countless times a day, I am checking my email, news, facebook, wordsfree games, etc out of habit. This week my home screen button has been acting up and I honestly can feel myself get “worked up” when it is not working properly. It doesnt seem to bring me to my homescreen when I press it, anyone else having that issue??
    I think back to when I had a flip phone and wonder how I ever managed, since not an hour goes by that I don’t need my iPhone for something.. important!

  4. I think that if I did get an iPhone, I would become addicted to it in a matter of days (maybe even hours!) because I’ve spent way to much time on my daughter’s iPod Touch. So for now, I am resisting the urge to get one. But it was very hard when it came to Verizon a few months ago!

    I experience tech saturation periodically and I feel an episode about to come on soon. After reading a dozen or so “About Me” posts on the blogs early this week, I started to think about how these bloggers can manage to teach, lecture, run workshops, post to their blog, have a family, eat, sleep and do mundane things like go grocery shopping! I think that I’ve got a full plate and I do a fraction of those things! I really need to learn how to balance it all!

  5. I believe I am obsessed with technology but not quite addicted. I have to check my email, my classes, my job, and Facebook but that is all. I do not have a smart phone or any other handheld internet access tool. I barely even use my phone to call and I don’t text since it costs money and I am cheep.
    My students on the other hand are absolutely addicted The Telegraph’s article Student ‘addiction’ to technology ‘similar to drug cravings’, study finds. They have their phones out, and texting minutes before school started and as soon as the bell rings at the end of the day.

    I stop being overwhelmed by just walking away. I check what I need to check and I walk away. Knowing that I am up-to-date makes me feel better.

  6. I, too, just got an iphone. Before this I had a basic cell phone and never understood these people that walk around with their phone in their hand 24/7. Now that I have my iphone, I am addicted. I am on it all the time. In fact, the other day I realized that I left my purse at work, not because I needed my wallet or anything else, but because I NEEDED my phone.

  7. Okay, I don’t feel so badly now! The iPhone is such a lifesaver. It makes me empathize with teens because I know how difficult it is for me to set limits. I can only imagine if I had access to these tools at 15! Perhaps time management needs to be taught in the digital citizenship curriculum, too?
    Kristen, you mentioned just walking away. I think that’s great advice. If we can’t have a tech-free day anymore, at least a tech-free evening? Good luck with that for the next 7 weeks, right? I always take a tech-hiatus after taking and/or teaching these classes.

  8. I feel like I am the only one who does not enjoy technology. I don’t even have the internet at my house…we have it at the welding shop a few miles away (why pay for it twice). I do talk and text on my cell phone but that is about it. I just do not have time to check my email or blogs all the time. Technology does overwhelm me very quickly! I wonder if this phobia comes from grade school. When I was in grade school, we got a new computer lab. We were told that if we break a computer, we would have to buy it. We would come into the computer lab and sit on our hands until we were told to do something. This was very scary to a second grader!

  9. Hi Sherry:

    I think I can probably fall into the category of having a tech addiction. I do believe, however, that it is a healthy addiction, since I am not just trying to seek out and find any technology tools. I want to find good ones that are useful for teaching and learning.

    The difficulty we have with all of the resources and with the world literally at our fingertips is to effectively try and sort through it all. It helps to have learning communities, friends, colleagues, fellow students who can all point out sites and tools that they have found useful. I depend on these contacts for new “finds” and I, too, am excited to pass on my new favorites to others.

    Being able to use the social bookmarking site, like Diigo, helps me store the links to sites I want to explore when I have a few spare moments. It is convenient to be able to save them in this archive type tool and it only takes a few seconds to do it. Prior to using Diigo I wanted to write down everything so I could find it later, which caused me to sometimes go astray from my original task, or lose sites that wold have been useful.

    Overall, the wealth of technology available is exciting. I am especially impressed with all of the free materials, and tools that educators can access and use. For example, Creative Commons is a wonderful site that houses a lot of educational materials, articles, videoclips, etc. which can be used as long as you give credit to the author. YouTube is full of excellent, creative instructional video clips on anything from content subject like the scientific method to how to upload an audacity podcast.

  10. The word “addiction” may be a little strong, but I would have to at least use the word “dependent.” So much of the information that I rely on for everyday life is stored in either my phone, computer, or my new father’s day gift, an iPad. I am able to step away from technology to enjoy the outdoors, but find myself continuously connected during the work day. I am always limiting my children’s “screen time”, so I try to practice what I preach.

    There are a number of benefits, however. The resources that I regularly used has centralized my contacts, bookmarks and teaching files into locations that are available via the “cloud.” Having access to these items at all times and all places, has turned me from disasterously unorganized to one of the more organized teachers in the building. My office is very clutter free and I have made an effort to make this school year the one with the least number of printouts and copies. The key for me is finding the right tool that is right for you and become very fluent in its use. It is easy to get overwhelmed in searching through the many options that are available.

  11. Sherry and everyone else:

    I have a couple of my own personal rules so that I do not become overloaded by technology, or addicted to it. It all has to do with relationships. Whenever I am with another person, face-to-face, I talk to them. I make eye contact, I use active listening skills, and I do not let technology become an interruption. I also refuse to talk to anyone, students or adults, who have something in their ear – as in a little earbud or a huge honkin’ headphone. I don’t care if it is turned off, I tell my students, if you want to talk to me, take it out of your ear. I believe that many people these days have such terrible listening skills, and I refuse to add to that. I don’t care how well anyone can multi-task. If you are talking to me, or I am talking to you, then focus on the interpersonal relationship and forget all the technology crap.
    That being said, or ranted, perhaps, I will admit the following:
    1. I have a Facebook account, but it will suck me in for hours at a time, so I rarely go there!!
    2. Besides being a French teacher, I also cut lawns for 20 people on a weekly basis, and there is no way I can cut a lawn without my ipod. If it inadvertently runs out of power, I go home and recharge it!!
    3. My computer is my school-issued laptop. When we first got laptops as part of a state grant in 2001, we had to turn them in for the summer. I had tears in my eyes and did not want to let mine go – and that was a decade ago.
    4. I do not have a data package on my cell phone – I don’t want to pay for one or let it suck me in. But I do think periodically about buying an iPad.

    Cindy Goldbach

  12. I admit it, I am am a totally dependant on tech. I sit here reading this blog and it’s comments on my laptop, while I watch Bones on netflix through my Wii. I have my cellphone next to me and am texting several friends. I have finished my textbook reading using my Kindle. Last night we had terrible storms that knocked my internet link out. I was totally freaked out. Lucky that I had my Kindle.

    I have to say that I have yet to figure out how to organize all the information out there in the web. My bookmarks are a mess. I am organized with my classes though. All my lesson plans, worksheets, lab are organized on my portable HD.

  13. I am a true techie but am not addicted! I am glued to my iPhone, macBook; and kindle throughout the day; however, have no problem shutting them off to talk with my family (face-to face); garden; cook or play tennis. I refuse to set up a Facebook account because I don’t have enough time in the day to connect with people I lost touch with for a reason. Also, i value my privacy and don’t feel the need to express my every inner thought online. I view all these tech tools as ways to enhance my productivity and teaching…..I really don’t want it to take over my life…..but I’m a digital immigrant who doesn’t want to spend my entire life “plugged in”.

    I’ve read about schools that have adopted programs to encourage kids to “unplug” themselves for a week so that they develop better face to face interactions. Not a bad idea.

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