Are our tools making our decisions for us?


This article from Newsweek provides interesting data to suggest that we aren’t nearly as in control of our decisions as we’d like to believe. The most salient point, though, is that our twitters and facebooks and cell phones are likely inhibiting not only our ability to make decisions (“info-paralysis”), but causing us to make worse decisions. The cure? Check your texts/tweets/emails periodically instead of instantaneously reading them as they come in.

As an addictive text/email checker, I find this to be a difficult task. In fact, just before I found this article, I had decided to spend a weekend entirely free of my internet and cell phone. It was so fantastic that I’m contemplating spending all my weekends this way. I realized that when I wasn’t constantly checking texts, blogs, and updates, I had a lot of time to spare. I accomplished more in one weekend than I had in the several previous weekends combined. It was increasingly relaxing and stress-reducing to not be immediately available.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my technology as much as the next person. But it makes me wonder: when exactly did we start needing to be in contact with the entire world all the time? Many of us eat, sleep, and spend “quality” time with our families all while answering texts, emails, and updating Twitter. Where do we draw the line?