I had this conversation with a woman this weekend who is healthcare writer. She had gone to a conference where they had a breakout session on health apps.
I’d been thinking recently about the intersection of health and technology. It’s a double-edged sword from where I stand (because it burns more calories than sitting.)
Think about apps. There are apps to tell you how to eat, how to read labels on food, how to exercise, how to meditate, how to train for a marathon and according to my new writer friend, how to determine whether or not you have an ear infection. Yep. There’s an app for that.
But when I see both blue-faced kids, teens, and adults who prefer to absorb themselves in the online world with virtual friends instead of hanging out with the live people, I wonder if there’s a cost to that. Or take me, for example. I’m sitting here typing this while sitting in the living room watching “Believe” while one son sits on the couch watching tv, one hides in his room watching YouTube videos, and my husband whips up the tv watcher a late night mac & cheese snack. In this scenario, I’m the blue-face absorbed in my own internal dialogue.
The app makers have learned how to make software people crave. The game of the day the kids love is “Clash of the Clans.” Before that it was “Flappy Bird.” That one hit people so severely the creator is going to put a warning on it when he releases it again. http://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/03/19/flappy-bird-hit-game-dev/ I never got past 7 so I didn’t have that much invested, but even that made me a little twitchy.
It’s clear, though, that between social media, games, and (eh-hem) writing, technology can take us into a playground that’s not entirely healthy. Recently, I’ve been writing about 3 hours a day and have subsequently had to increase my trips to the chiropractor because of my neck angle staring at the screen. But I love it, so I do it. I try to balance it with regular breaks–a walk with my husband and dog, a sit in the hot tub, some cross trainer time. It takes focus and conscious un-bluefacing.
Like everything else, we need to find a balance.
This past Saturday morning while reading a weekly column I enjoy in the LA Times (yes an actual paper you can fold in half) I came across a quote by Albert Einstein that read “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” As a non-tech type individual I somehow felt validated.