“The study used research collected on almost 5,000 people over two years, and found that feelings of “disconnect anxiety” affected people of all ages, triggering sentiments like “dazed,” “disoriented,” “tense,” “inadequate” and even “panic.” Interestingly, however, the reasons for disconnect anxiety changed as subjects got older — teens and young adults worried about social communications being cut off, while older adults mostly fretted over work and safety issues.”
The shift in reasons for unplugged-anxiety seems obvious: As we grow up, our insecurities shift from being socially based to being based on work and health/safety. As I’ve talked about taking a break from cell phones with clients wanting to be more productive with technology, and workshop participants who are older (which is most of them), I almost always hear the concern “What if there is some family emergency?” Or the other side of the coin, “What if I‘m in an emergency situation?” This concern I’d say is the #1 reason given by people who really don’t want to use/carry a cell phone, but who sometimes still decide to carry one in their car…”just in case”.
These are good, hard questions raised by the ‘blessing’ of these kinds of technologies. And yet, to confirm the research, I doubt its what a teen is going to site as to their reason for being constantly plugged in. But maybe, to them, its just as -important.
If you wrestle with this issue and are interested in some coaching that can help you use your ‘tech time’ more productively, or in our ’soul tech’ workshops, then visit the Spark Northwest site. You can also join the ‘52 Nights Unplugged‘ site for some fun support in taking some time in your life to unplug, relax, get creative and focus on the more ‘enlivening’ aspects of life.