I rely on technology every day. I use digital calendars and reminders to keep my life in order with my smartphone so they’re always close at hand. I stay engaged in several social media networks, most notably Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I use them as a means of entertainment and of marketing myself to future employers and I look to the Internet as my primary source for news and entertainment. I have an unlimited texting plan and it’s a good thing I do because I send and receive over 1300 messages a month. My computer is essential to my studies and my work requires that I stay up to date on current technology news and products. Technology is at the core of my social and professional lives. Many of you can probably say the same thing.

So what does that make us? Am I a slave to the many forms of technology that I use in my day-to-day simply because I embrace them for their ability to make my life easier? Do I really care if I am?

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a break now and then. Unplugging every once in a while in order to keep a little perspective should be mandatory. A few weeks ago some friends and I spent a weekend at the lake; no computers, limited cell service and all. It was a blast and when Sunday rolled around no one wanted to go home. But the goal was never to get away from technology; it’s just a common side-effect of stepping away from a life more and more dependent on digital tools. I was just taking a vacation and once it was over my smartphone, laptop, and all the appointments, notifications, emails and text messages that go with were there waiting for me to pick my life up again.

Life and technology; to a point the two are indistinguishable to me and maybe that’s where the difference between nurturing an addiction and making use of a tool lies. When it comes down to it though I’m not sure I care. Could I survive stranded on an island without my iPhone? Sure. But for now I’m about as far from a desert island as one can be on the continental U.S. so what difference does it make? We all follow a lifestyle that defines us to one degree or another. For some it’s dance or music; these people are driven by a passion for the arts. For others it’s work; career men and women. The lifestyle I’ve chosen is one that centers on technology and while there are many less-than-flattering labels that could be applied, none of that really matters. In the end I am what I am and technology helps me express it.

Eric Lillehaugen

A super-senior working at the ITS Solution Center on campus Eric enjoys the summer breezes, long walks on the beach and late-night Halo matches conquering all those who dare step before him.

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