I am spoiled and I can’t blame it on my parents. Over the past several years I have become accustomed to having constant access to my own and others’ information from anywhere at anytime. More than being spoiled, I am an addict. I am part of a large and growing community of addicts from throughout the United States and other developed countries who have adopted the habit of being “always on”.
Actually, we’ve taken this one step further. We have bought into the belief that being “always on” is an important evolutionary leap for mankind, not to mention a basic human right. I (sorry, I meant we) demand the right to have immediate access to answers for all questions, no matter how useless, and to be able to stream information about our lives, no matter how boring. I became aware of my sorry predicament during a month-long trip through Asia and Europe this summer.
I wish that this insight had surfaced through a moment of stillness and clarity. However, it was actually crystalized through the experience of several moments of techno-rage. This included multiple instances where my wife had to talk me off the proverbial edge. Actually, it was my iPhone that was on the edge of getting smashed against walls, tables, windows and other parts of various hotel rooms.
Everyone of these moments were instigated by my struggle to find and remain connected to the internet. Moments where I asked for nothing more than the ability to exercise what I believed was my inalienable human right to remain “always on.” No matter how much I prayed to the techno-gods, or how many Balinese style offerings I conjured up for them, it was all to no avail.
In the end of it all, this experience helped me realize once again that being “always on” is just as bad as it is good. That is not to say that I overcame my addiction. Just like any good addict I love my addiction and have made every effort to remain “always on” since I have arrived in Brazil to visit my parents.