Information and Content Addiction

The ongoing trend is to still tell people to unplug from their devices. There is not a day that goes by where some internet article written by an internet guru or lifehacker isn’t waxing poetic about cell phone addiction and ways to unplug. Yet, according to Huddy’s Hotcakes Consulting, 82% of content and information is mainly written for mobile consumption. Our addictions are not to our mobile devices. Our addictions are to the information and content we seek and crave.

Life and work experts preach the need to unplug and put away the devices. They Tweet and Instagram and Facebook their unplugging content to the masses knowing full well it will be consumed on mobile devices. They advise us to unplug and go seek information at a library or a seminar, a retreat, or the local outdoor book store. Many are updating their blog via the WordPress app, picking up their mobile-order Starbucks, purchasing their favorite running shoes via the Zappos app, then boarding a flight with mobile check-in. Yes, I’m looking at you, HR Pancake guy.

Speaking of the HR guy, my industry is a major offender. We want our employees to have work/life balance, get away and unplug. Yet, for the past 10 years, all we can talk about is making our processes and access to information easier for our employees. HR tech is all about mobile, cloud, robots and AI. I can see my pay stub, update my personal information, approve time off, give feedback, enroll in benefits, and change my 401k elections, all through an HRIS mobile app. All just another way to access information.

Using technology or a mobile device is not always the devil we make it out to be. Sure, our faces are buried in our phones, but I remember a time, not so long ago, when commuter train passengers had their heads buried in the Chicago Tribune or Sun Times. I only saw hair lines above the ink of the Wall Street Journal. Necks were strained while consuming the Sports Illustrated or US magazines and only rotated to grab another periodical.

Wellness and mindfulness can be achieved simply by accessing an app through your mobile device. I use a meditation app called Insight Timer. Ironic? Or just convenient?

Since the dawn of time, we have always consumed and shared content. From cave drawings to ancient scrolls to newspapers and to Kindles, we crave knowledge and continuous learning. We yearn to share and tell stories. We want to capture a moment in time through a picture, whether drawn or photographed. Board games are being replaced by mobile apps. Atari and ColecoVision have been replaced with PlayStation and Xbox.

Our addiction is not to our mobile device, it’s the content and information we seek. Mobile just happens to be the current medium.

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