THE BLOG

Hi, My Name Is Anna and I'm a Technology Addict

23/10/2015 17:29 BST | Updated 23/10/2016 10:12 BST

There was once a time where I wasn't even allowed to use a pen to take down my notes at school yet these days it's all smartphones, tablets and notebooks.

I remember taking a seat in one of my first ever university lectures; I pulled out my brand new multi-coloured notepad and Biro (feeling a bit like Elle from Legally Blonde) but when I looked around I saw a mass of people pulling out MacBooks, not notepads, instead. Was I really that out of touch with how the 'university kids' do it?!

Since then I've created three blogs, generally use three screens, refresh news websites every 20 minutes, use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and countless other social platforms... I even seriously considered signing back up to Myspace last week. I think I'm well and truly addicted. But, as a true addict, I've finally reached the acceptance stage of my affliction. I want to stop.

There's no doubt about it - technology is all around us and it will continue to grow and dominate. It may be surprising to know that there are 12million people in the UK who fall into the digital skills gap. On an average day walking through your local town centre you'd be forgiven for thinking that it certainly doesn't seem that way.

With more people than ever connected online, I can't help but wonder if technology is ruining our lives?

Only this morning, a friend messaged me: "My phone is going in for repair for the next 10 days so you'll HAVE to get me on Facebook Messenger. I'm going to have actually do some work now without my phone being on my desk." God forbid.

I'm probably the worst culprit. I need an electrician at the moment... but instead of trawling through online directories (because nobody uses phone books anymore) I went straight on Facebook and asked my friends. Then, instead of calling the person - I messaged them. I'm actually so annoyed at myself at how talk-phobic I've become. There's just no way I'd dream of calling someone to enquire about something - it's got to be done through emails, text and instant messaging!

One place that I (kind of) draw the line is restaurants. I hate seeing families/couples/friends in a nice place, nice food and nice waiters yet all you see is the smartphone glow emanating from their tech-zombie face. Though, yes, I am one of those annoying people who takes Instagram shots of my food.

People live their lives on social media and as such, are completely numb to how they come across in real life. Selfies in the street, Snapchatting in public or shaming people in the hope that it goes 'viral'. I sometimes dread walking down the street for fear that I trip over and end up on YouTube's Fail Army channel.

Don't get me wrong - I'm most definitely not against technology. It is an amazing feat. Technological innovations have meant that people around the world are connected in a unified global sphere - we're able to communicate with people millions of miles away through the click of a button, news has become a 24-hour cycle with citizens getting involved to bring issues to the forefront whilst technology has also helped to save lives in the form of medical research, 3D printing and natural disaster analysis.

The world around is changing and I can't wait to see what the future brings. But does that mean it has to be at the expense of social interaction? The laughter heard between friends? Or the touch of a loved ones skin? You can be anyone online but in real-life you have no option but to be you.

And why did I suddenly reach the conclusion that I'm all 'technologied' out?

It's all because of one photo. Don't worry, it wasn't on Instagram. I saw the photo of the phone-free old lady at the Black Mass premiere and in that one moment I wanted to be just like her. That one old lady reminds us that there is a beautiful world outside the home screen, one that we should take a look at every now and again (without the use of a filter).

Now, please excuse me whilst I step away from the computer and have a catch-up with my cat.