Analog Body in a Digital World: What Have You Got to Lose?

When the weather is cooperative, I eat breakfast on the porch in front of my apartment. My nervous system is soothed in the presence of squirrels scampering, hummingbirds zipping around my neighbor’s pear tree, and bumblebees bobbing on jasmine blossoms, heavy with pollen. From my perch, I exchange greetings with neighbors as they garden, walk dogs, and push strollers down the street. This time is precious because I make sure it happens before I’ve plugged in to the digital realm. I forestall that moment as long as I can, because the instant I call up the internet, my energy shifts, my effortless calm evaporates, and I am hooked into a world that, for all its many benefits, is designed to manipulate and addict me.

You don’t need me to sound the alarm about your relationship with digital devices. Like the rest of us, you were seduced down the rabbit hole of perpetual connection before you knew it was a bottomless pit. Now you’re used to it. It’s comfy. And all your friends are here. But you’re uneasy, because part of you knows you’ve cut a deal with the devil. This is the nature of addiction. In exchange for a benefit — relaxation, pleasure, stimulation, instant access — we give up some measure of control over our lives. The fact of addiction is indisputable. Less obvious are the long-term neurological consequences of our addictive behavior. Read More