Tom Matlack has a problem: he's addicted to technology and social media.
I have a problem.
If I put my BlackBerry down, I keep asking myself, what kind of man would I become? I was a beta user way back when the device looked like a beeper. I've developed thumb muscles capable of 90-plus words a minute; people stare in wonder at my talent. My wife takes the thing away from me in the car and at dinner parties.
Technology has taken over my life.
I would like to put down the BlackBerry, rather than use it to check messages over the urinal. I'd like not to care how many people share my columns. I'd like to find ways to connect the old-fashioned way: in the flesh. The question is, how? The false gods of money and booze -- even sex and sports -- have proved easier to put down than my iPhone.
How did this happen?
A decade later, I rode my hipster Xootr scooter to my job as the managing partner of a venture capital firm, with my man purse (or "murse") flapping on the handlebars. I was sporting Buddy Holly glasses and trying not to get my Gucci loafers dirty with each kick.
The coolest part of hipster-ism then (and now) was technology. If yuppies brought materialism mainstream, hipsters tried to rebel against phony people by preferring the slickly designed Mac to the inelegant PC. It was the Golden Age of irony, wasn't it?
The cool kids are reading "Super Sad True Love Story," by Gary Shteyngart, for a peek at the near future. In Shteyngart's world, everyone uses a device called an "Apparat" to rank their fellow man by attractiveness, personality, credit rating and life expectancy. People's importance is determined by how "media" they are -- how many people follow their live video feed.
Maybe the answer is for all of us to unplug completely for a day, a week, or even a month. Maybe we should declare technology-free days to promote human connections. Or maybe guys like me need a 30-day residential program to treat our obsessive behavior.
I'd like to think that my thousands of fans, followers and email recipients would suffer at the loss of my wit and wisdom if I dropped off the webosphere. But that's my disease talking; they wouldn't miss me for a second.
My name is Tom Matlack and I am a techno-addict. It's time to surrender to a higher power capable of restoring my sanity. I just hope there's wireless in heaven.
Read the original piece on The Good Men Magazine here.
Follow Tom Matlack on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tmatlack