TECH

Tech Addiction? Arianna Huffington Argues The Fault Is Not In Our Screens, But In Ourselves

01/06/2014 12:53 BST | Updated 09/07/2014 14:59 BST

Are we addicted to our gadgets?

Conventional wisdom seems to suggest we are - and so does an increasing amount of research. A recent study by Milward Brown suggest that the average Brit stares at an electronic screen for more than six hours a day, including almost two hours on our phones.

And it's not just work-frazzled adults that are affected - it's also our children. According to one poll released recently, as many as 50% of all 14-15 year take their laptop, phone or tablet to bed at night. The LSE says that the UK's young people are among the world's worst tech addicts, and charities are now warning parents to prevent kids losing sleep to their devices.

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Arianna Huffington

Given this weight of research, it's tempting to blame the obvious cause - which is our gadgets... right?

Well, maybe not. At a recent Google Campus session held in London with Huffington Post founder, president and Editor-In-Chief Arianna Huffington, the consensus was that it is not the tech which is really to blame.

Perhaps the fault is not in our stars - or, rather, our screens - but in ourselves?

In her most recent book 'Thrive', Huffington argues that while the always-on digital world has led to great advances - including her own website - it has also led to the creation of a culture which is unsustainably demanding of our time and attention.

Day-to-day small decisions like taking your phone to bed -- or even simply into the bedroom -- keeping your email alerts on through dinner or 'checking in' on work at weekends has a profound negative impact, she argues. And as technology becomes ever more ubiquitous, connected and even (whisper it) 'wearable' (shudder), we will have to teach ourselves not to be its master, but deliberately and cooperatively agree to carve out space to live without it.

The onward march of technology, particularly wearable tech, is not one that concerns her greatly.

She said: "You can still take it off. Just because it is wearable does not mean it should be on all the time.

"I live without distractions much more often now and that is how I gauge my success."