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Book Review: iDisorder – Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us

Book Review: iDisorder – Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us


    As someone who spends a lot of time on and with their iPhone, I’ve found that the times where I unplug and disconnect tend to be the moments where I’m actually the most connected with the task at hand. I’ve been in situations where i’m out with friends having a drink and they are all typing away on their smartphones, socializing with others that aren’t with them “in real life” rather than actually socializing the old-fashioned way. I’ve seen parents plunk their kids’ in front of the toys provided at coffee shops so they can engage with their phones – instead of with fellow patrons or the children they brought with them. I’ve seen the glow of cellphones on until the last possible moment in a movie theatre, showing that the users are waiting until the last possible moment to “untether” from their devices and escape into the film they’re about to watch.

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    In other words, I’ve seen iDisorder all over the place.

    In his book, “iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us”, Dr. Larry Rosen not only explores research (both pre-existing and his own), but also tries to give readers the resources to avoid falling prey to this type of behaviour – a type of behaviour that is sweeping the globe.

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    I’m pretty well-versed with the mobile landscape, and have a good sense of not only knowing when to put the phone away but also how to lead by example to my two young children. But not everyone does, and iDisorder is well worth reading for those not only having trouble finding that balance for themselves, but also for those who are parents and want to help their kids with any struggles they may be having. Rosen offers several suggestions in this regard, from adopting better sleeping habits to creating a better connection with family by disconnecting at dinner. We’ve gotten to the point where notifications are being treated as commands rather than alarms (something we can choose to respond to), and iDisorder is a book that brings that to light in a very precise and accessible manner.

    What is extremely helpful is that Rosen offers up end notes at the end of each chapter to help the reader break any bad habits they may have when it comes to the effects of iDisorder. Simply by following these, one can take steps to avoiding the problems that come with being connected all the time.

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    The book is a bit of a heavy read, and is best left for those who know they have a problem and want to take the steps needed to overcome it. It is loaded with research and tips, which can be overwhelming to many. I’d suggest that you ease into this book first and see where it takes you. Don’t expect it to cure all of the symptoms of iDisroder – “everything in moderation” is a good motto with which to approach this book.

    (And I’d further to suggest that you read the paper version of the book rather than the electronic version…for obvious reasons.)

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    Overall, iDisorder is an important book to have available to the public. As we find ourselves further immersed in being connected in a world that is teaming with information that can come at an instant – and non-stop instances at that – knowing when you’re too connected is key. iDisorder can help you break that pattern and disconnect from your devices.

    And that’s a very good – and important – thing.

    (Photo credit: Finger Touching Touch Screen via Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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