What do I mean by a tech zombie? One of those people who crosses the street with their eyes glued to their phone screen, or the one who is at a family dinner and scrolls through their social media feed as they scarf down their dinner, or worse – out with friends or on a date and checks their phone constantly! The digital age we have entered and with it, the rise of social media and information technology, have brought on a whole new set of problems with the millennial generation and an even worse one with Generation Z, the ever younger one. The problem we seem to be having is the addiction to our online presence and the need to constantly be connected.
Since I have been to my fair share of dinners where everyone was on their phones, stopped at a red light to see people crossing the street with their not a glance up, and our ability to interact socially in a physical state, I have decided to locate the counterculture for this issue and find ways for us to control our tech addiction.
This one’s a classic. When everyone is sitting down of dinner, even if it’s just two, make everyone (yes, you too) put their phone in a basket that is set aside and will be returned when dinner is over. This way you are sure to be more engaged in dinner conversation and be much more pleasant to be around. We all forget how primal social interaction is for us humans, we need it more than we know, and yes, social media gives us a sense of belonging and can mask the need for a while, but there is nothing like face-to-face interaction.
Vibrate and Limit
If you must have your phone on your during social engagements, put your phone on vibrate (no one likes hearing your phone go off when they are speaking to you, it’s rude). Also, limit the amount of times you check your phone when you’re out if you don’t need to. It’s really sad to see a group of friends who go out and they are not speaking to one another and their face is to their screen.
Go Old School
Not everything we do has to be in front of a screen – television, computer or telephone. Go outside and take a walk, sit at the park, meet friends for drinks, invite people over to play a board game (tell your friends it’s ‘vintage’), read a book, paint or draw, listen to music – just stay away from a screen for a little while; rediscover the simple pleasure of either doing nothing or doing something that doesn’t include a microchip.