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.
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.
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.
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.)
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)