Monday, January 31, 2011

Are You Connectaholic?

Do you remember the good ol’ days when social networking sites were limited, mobile phones were only for sending SMS and calling, e-mails were not much of an importance, and wireless landline phones were non-existent? I know I do. And to be honest, I miss the simplicity of a life without them.

I was recently hospitalized due to dengue fever, and what I only had with me was my mobile phone. There were moments when I would surf the Internet (thanks to the free Wi-Fi), but there were also times when I would pause to ask myself if I am a “connectaholic.” By that, I meant being addicted to having a connection 24/7 in whatever way – may it be via computer, by landline or through the use of a mobile phone.

Our bodies easily become dependent on the likes of coffee, soda, sweets, alcohol, cigarette, drugs, etc.; however, it does not mean someone is addicted to them even if these things are often available and being used frequently (think toothpaste, for instance).

So how, then, can we know whether or not we have become a slave of technology, social media, and being connected?

Are you addicted to being plugged in?

In other words, are you afraid of losing Internet/phone connections or else you would feel that something is missing?

Some people I know have two to three Internet subscriptions at home, so as to have a backup when the primary one fails. While on-the-go, they also have several networks of SIM broadband to make sure connection is ready whenever and wherever they need to plug it to their netbook or tablet. Not satisfied with that, they still subscribe to unlimited call, text and data plans on their mobile phones, so they can tweet, update status, access email, and surf all day long.

Debates on whether broadband capping should or should not be implemented are all around these days. But how can you forget those times when dial up was a norm? Dial up connections were either in prepaid or postpaid that time, and everyone cared about just having a connection even if it was slow. Now, we are no longer satisfied with the speed of our connections – we want it faster and without any limits.

Why are we obsessed with being connected 24 hours a day?

It is the whole scene of having friendships, followers, and connections that make us feel loved and important. We feel complete and secured when we know we have something to look into if we have sudden questions and thoughts in mind. There is an adrenalin buzz on the knowledge that comes from being plugged in all the time.

Determining if you are a Connectaholic

Becoming too poised on being plugged in to the point that you are no longer focused on the situations around you is a flag for being connectaholic.

When you seem to like online activities more than your actual work in the office, you are not giving your employer the worth of hiring you as a resource. When you think that talking on the phone, texting, and chatting is better than personal meet-ups, then it is time to rethink of your technologically-addictive behavior.

Freelance writer Deborah S. Hildebrand lists down the following factors that tell if one is a connectaholic:
  • You don’t (or can’t) stop texting, talking, tweeting or posting while you eat, bathe, drive or during other day-to-day life activities
  • You are only happy when you are talking, texting, tweeting or posting
  • You allow being plugged in to take precedence over all other activities including sleeping
  • You become upset when anyone suggests you cut back on talking, texting, tweeting or posting
  • You regularly show up late to appointments or your job due to talking, texting, tweeting or posting

Sounds familiar? You are most likely a connectaholic or on your way to becoming one. Always remember that as with anything in excess, the line of enjoyment and dependency is thin. So slow down on online activities and enjoy life without too much dependence on technology.

This article is my third contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on January 31, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.

Photo Source: VegasFlea


Oops! I can relate on this one. But yeah, you have to at least go back to the real world from time to time. Being online 24/7 is addictive and being technologically-dependent is not always as good as it seems to be.

Wow! I am glad to say that I am not a connectaholic! Only the 2nd point is a little more applicable to me. Make it "I am happy when I talk, text, tweet or post."

Nice article!

I don't think I am. When I'm online, it's hard to unplug myself. But if I'm not online, I don't mind. I have plenty of books to read and games to play. Haha!

addicted perhaps?!
Hihih, 1st time dropping by^^

Hey, thanks for the shout out! I appreciate that you referred to my article, "The Addictive Need for Social Media, Technology and Being Connected," and cited my steps to determine if your a connectaholic. Here is my complete article -- -- for your readers to check out.

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