The winner from last week's contest is: Jen Daiker! Congratulations Jen! I will be e-mailing you to get your mailing address. Now for this week's column:
When asked recently how she liked her new iPad, a friend e-mailed back, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE it!” Yes, she used the word “love” and yes, she used all caps.
Is it really possible to love technology?
We all know that every time we hear that ringtone, or that “you’ve got mail” ping, we get pleasure from a rush of dopamine to the brain, as described in this NY Times article. Technology has gotten very affordable, which allows us to collect more and more sleek devices that stimulate us. But is our love affair with technology just about that brain signal?
This isn’t the first time I’ve fallen in love with a computer. I felt the same euphoria when I first got my first home personal computer in 1984, and again a few years ago when I purchased my first MacBook. I admit that I am a bit of a geek, but there’s something about the object itself that just has the ability to turn me on.
It’s about the look and feel of a device, how intelligent it is, and what it’s capable of accomplishing. It’s about what I can do with it, and how it challenges me to master it. It’s also about flexibility and accessibility.
My Droid gives new meaning to the term “on demand”. It allows me on-demand access to information and people, and it allows me to be available on-demand.
But there’s a downside.
Yes, I can choose to be connected, I can choose to be reachable, and I can choose to be super-responsive. And now I am expected to be connected, reachable, and super-responsive.
Yes, it’s great when you can work from home, but not so great when the boundaries between work and home become unclear. It’s great when you can take that call while you’re at your daughter’s soccer practice, but not so great when you miss her score that goal because you were too focused on the call. It’s terrific to be able to check your e-mail while waiting for a table, but not so great when that e-mail checking interferes with dinner.
And so, we walk a fine line where that technology love affair can just as quickly become a love-hate relationship.
What’s your relationship with technology like? Are you loving the technology in your life?