Information noise is everywhere. Social media, pop-ups, click bait, advertising, news outlets, reviews. The pervasiveness of cell phones and computers anywhere you look. The confusion it can cause in dating! (See “No Premarital Text” after this.) The question I have for you is, are you using technology or is it using you? Take this quiz and find out!
1.Something going “viral” is:
a) The key to success.
b) Annoying because most things that go viral are dumb. (Or cute if you love animals.)
c) A reason to make a doctor’s appointment.
2. You’re sitting next to a stranger and they’re looking at something on their phone. You:
a) Look along with them as if neither of you know you’re doing it.
b) Get busy doing your own thing.
c) Move. You don’t want to be so close to Wi-Fi.
3. “Unplugging” means:
a) Not using your cellphone while in the bathroom. But everywhere else, ok.
b) Not using your computer and phone so you can plug back in (to life).
c) Removing an electrical cord from a wall outlet.
4. When it comes to click bait:
a) You click on anything that makes you salivate and have no recall of actually clicking.
b) You know it’s trying to get your attention and ignore it.
c) You don’t notice anything except what you looked up.
5. An “App” is:
a) Something you want to invent so you can make millions.
b) Short for “Applications.”
c) Short for “Appetizers” as in “Let’s get drinks and apps.”
6. Someone is trying to talk to you. You:
a) Pretend to listen and keep your eyes on your screen.
b) Do on-line research about whatever it is they’re talking about – while they’re talking.
c) Look at them in the eyes and listen.
7. Being an “Early Adopter” is:
a) The only way. I have to be the first to get the latest technology.
b) Unnecessary. My technology will last as long as it can.
c) Someone who adopted a child before sunrise.
8. You’re crossing a busy street. You:
a) Text. As long as your phone is okay, everything is okay.
b) Look up once or twice. It’s crucial to pay attention to what’s on your phone, even in a danger zone.
c) Pay attention to traffic, crossing safely. Common sense.
9. You get a text. You:
a) Act on it urgently no matter how unimportant it is.
b) Wait to read it until you have a moment to address it.
c) Don’t have texting and don’t know how to answer back.
10. While waiting in line at a store. You:
a) Surf the internet and text people you don’t even like because you have to fill this torturous few minutes with something.
b) Look around the room, wonder, daydream, talk with someone next to you.
c) Wait, bored and lonely, until it’s your turn.
11. If your tech was down for the day you’d:
a) Panic that you’d lose your membership to society.
b) Be frustrated that you couldn’t get your work done.
c) Be concerned about your photos.
For every (a) give yourself 1 point.
For every (b) give yourself 2 points.
For every (c) give yourself 3 points.
11-18 Points. Your tech owns you, Pal.
It’s the Age of Attention and the way you’re using your tech might be robbing you of your time. If it’s making you feel unaccomplished and unsatisfied, here are two reasons: 1) The rush of adrenalin you get with an email, text, or game can create emotional peaks and valleys that, in comparison, make real-life seem slow, boring, and difficult. 2) It takes time and mental energy to refocus on the task you got distracted from. Adrenalin from the pling! sound alone can fool you into thinking something’s urgent when it’s not. So, a remedy to get life back on track: Set specific times to do these things – especially giving yourself a time to be done – rather than getting sucked in.
19-26 Points. You tame your tech.
You use tech when you need it but don’t lose yourself to the point of sacrificing relationships with people right in front of you. It can be easy to get sucked in to social media, though, and you might end up comparing yourself to other people, wasting time, and losing track of your goals. Recognize the adrenalin rush when it happens and make a choice whether to get distracted or stay on course. Continue to enjoy what you’re learning, how you’re connecting, and/or what you’re doing to contribute to your business success.
27-33 Points. You don’t have much tech to tame.
Going old-school low-tech or being tech-free is a wonderful thing. But if society’s current obsession with technology makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Kurt Vonnegut, one of my favorite writers, wrote in Timequake, “Acculturated persons are those who find that they are no longer the sort of people they thought they were, because the outside world has changed. An economic misfortune or a new technology […] can do that quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.” Rest assured, aside from all the noise, there’s a beneficial side of technology that includes education! You can learn how to do just about anything, find out the history of just about anything, and find an incredible amount of health information that even doctors don’t have the time to look into. It’s all in how you choose to use it.
So, fellow techies and tech-free-ees, no one knows the quality or total amount of screen input you’re getting except you, so be decisive about it. Be active about it. Don’t let it alter how you spend your time without you knowing about it.