Do you control your technology or does it control you?

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I recently was attempting to book a training engagement with a local real estate office and the broker had this to say: “Brad, you have so many good things to say, but it gets lost with your not adopting new technologies. Has that changed?” Which started a back-and-forth conversation about technology, how did that have anything to do with my ability to impart knowledge to his agents, etc. But that same day, I was reading Brendon Burchard’s (#1 New York Times Bestselling Author) latest book, The Motivation Manifesto, and I came across this:

“The final clear indication that someone’s life agenda is not their own is constant lack of focus. It is that terrible and never-ending distraction of the modern world that is stealing purpose and progress from our lives. It’s becoming a defining hour of humanity, where we either take back our attention or risk becoming emotionally addicted to our technology, to devices that somehow, though they have neither soul or intent, control us more than we control them. Humankind is fast becoming a slave to its own tools. Hours of the day seep away checking in, updating, and swiping, to what end? It’s as if we are adrift in a digital stream we never consciously chose to wade into. And we are starting to drown. No sooner do we set out on a meaningful task than we feel compelled to look at something irrelevant. We barely make it through a single day without suffering browser blackout or app amnesia – those long gaps in the day when we are lost in a long chain of clicks and swipes that steal our momentum and leave no trace of real purpose or accomplishment.”

“Let us boldly ask what is says about ourselves if we cannot pull back from our addiction to digital distractions. For it is an addiction; we are no better off than the alcoholic who cannot avoid the bar or the gambler the casino. Those with a compulsion to constantly check in have lives like this: They awake each day and their first act is to review the messages left by others, always terrified that they may have missed something that someone else wanted on a whim just hours or minutes ago. Their second effort is to divide up their day based not on what they should accomplish in pursuit of their dreams but, rather, on the hours they must spend responding to the needs and requests of others. They reply with equal frenzy and devotion to one and all, to both influencers and idiots, their addiction to meet others’ demands making no distinction, giving no priority. All day, they are busy accomplishing nothing but responding to everything. There is no vision, only reaction – a self-imposed terror that they are falling behind. Their aim in life, if we can call it that, is to ‘get through’ it all, to ‘catch up’ in a rat race that they should never have entered and will never win.”

Ouch! Pretty harsh, yes? Or maybe not. What do you think? Have you become addicted to your cell phone, your iPad, your computer? Or are they merely tools you use to help you be more effective and efficient and accomplish more? Let me know.