Hi, I'm Chris and I'm an addict
We've heard about it from friends and family who have succumbed to alcoholism. We've seen it countless times on TV - that first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous where the new guy stands up an says; "Hi, I'm Fred and I'm an alcoholic."
The same thing happens with other forms of substance abuse; "Hi, I'm Joe and I'm an addict."
Now I have to admit that having managed successfully to avoid becoming an alcoholic or druggie, I have discovered that I suffer from the world's newest and most all-consuming addiction. My smartphone.
No, don’t laugh, it's not funny. It is, in my opinion and experience, an addiction that can destroy marriages, destroy relationships and destroy lives.
It is an overwhelming desire to keeping checking your phone for text messages, e-mails and the latest stuff on Twitter and Facebook.
It is so addictive that a study in the UK released only a week or so ago, showed that texting has become so compulsive that a lot of teenagers and young adults have been found to be capable of texting in their sleep. Ridiculous? Not at all.
My particular addiction is Twitter and surfing the internet on my iPad.
I find I have stopped reading books in bed at night, but rather checking out sites such as Zite on my iPad. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and automatically reaching for my Blackberry to see if there are any new e-mails, text massages and what's happening in the world of Twitter.
I have fallen into the trap in which so many people find themselves these days - not being able to sit in a restaurant and just have a meal without constantly grabbing at my cellphone whenever the conversation stops for just a millisecond.
I do the same at meetings - surreptitiously checking out my phone under the table.
It is ridiculous and I am going to fight this addiction with a vengeance.
It's going to start with leaving my iPod and cellphone somewhere other than on my bedside table.
I am going to switch the damn thing off at meetings and when I am in a restaurant.
Hmm, hang on a sec, that won't do. What if there is an urgent call?
OK, so I will give my phone to whomever I am meeting with or the waiter in the restaurant and tell them to only give it to me if it rings.
Now, as you can see, I am getting sort of desperate in my desire to kick the addiction but not to be left too far from my phone.
I reckon I am not alone in this. I am not alone in kidding myself that because of my job I need to keep track of things. I am not alone in being frowned upon by my loved ones for communicating more with complete strangers than with my family.
I reckon I can do it. Because right now my addiction is irritating me more than those around me.
So, let me start changing my ways right now.
"Hi, I'm, Chris and I'm an addict. I am also an arse."
- Follow Chris on Twitter.
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