Time seems to move at a blistering pace when we're absorbed in our screens.
I call digital warp speed the new standard for how rapid life can move when we rely on our screens to get us through the day. Digital warp speed is the next level up...the pinnacle of optimized performance, the awe-inspiring, artful blending of human and gadget.
Digital warp speeders jump between screens like superheroes leaping from rooftop to rooftop. They text on the fly... with coffee in hand... juggling many feeds... keeping bosses happy with rapid email reply speeds... never really slowing down except to pause for a random selfie.
Most digital warp speeders have two gears: fast and insanely fast. They just keep discovering new levels of speed by integrating emerging technology into their digital lifestyle like marathon runners who barely slow down to grab water and refuel during a race.
The future is only going to accelerate digital life. Faster, easier, more convenient, and smarter technology will allow us to automate more of our lives so we can focus on other tasks. We must accept this technological reality as part of life or learn how to shift into digital warp speed when needed.
Many of us are fast with our gadgets, but can you handle warp speed?
How many of the following statements represent your digital lifestyle?
1. You type and browse circles around your friends and family, even on the run.
Known for you near-instantaneous message response times, you set the standard for speed in so many ways.
2. Your focus is on the Now.
You deal with the Later when your phone alert reminds you it's time to shift.
You don't make excuses for the blazing speed that your digital life travels, and your hyper-productivity has plentiful digital fruits to justify your lifestyle choices. Re-Googling plus digital notes and reminders effectively serve as your memory bank.
3. You have a constant hunger for information which is fueled by your fascination with rapid knowledge absorption.
Google searches have become effective ways to fill downtime during gaps between responsibilities.
4. You are the master multi-tasker and finger acrobat, capable of flipping seamlessly from smartphone to big screen and back.
Your devices know each other quite well, with programs and calendars synchronized across all screens.
5. You have a preference for digital connection over phone calls and group hugs.
You maintain ties through your social networks, which makes people feel like they are experiencing your ups and downs with you. You might require nudging to meet face to face with a friend, but once you're with him or her, life is good.
6. You relish the challenge of finding ways to use your gadgets to enhance your non-digital world.
You welcome the rush of adrenaline from mixing your screens with everything you do.
7. You strive to keep up with the speed of digital evolution, updating your digital world the moment new technology becomes available.
You inspire others by staying knowledgable about emerging technology. You exude a sense of awe about the limitless potential of new technology to change the world.
8. You're an unstoppable force capable of powering through uncomfortable states of digital overstimulation.
Racing thoughts and anxiety (caused by too much screen time) are metabolized through productive activity or well-timed but fleeting, healthy screen pauses. You bounce back quickly from digital overstimulation and know what to do in order to regain a sense of mind control when your digital lifestyle feels like a runaway train.
9. You're working even when you're playing.
The mind-numbing pace of your digital lifestyle doesn't let up during time away from work or school. Even quality time with the people you love usually includes screens. You manage to stay connected to your devices even in places where most people power off. Beaches, houses of worship, treadmills, court hearings, movies and bathrooms are not off limits to you for checking your messages. You become a Screen Ninja and make sure that any screen checking goes unnoticed.
10. Your screens are your main soothing mechanism.
You've found a way to get through physical and mental pain by losing yourself in mindless Google searches, Facebook feed thumbing, and binge-watching Game of Thrones. The art of distraction is well-practiced and effective in many situations. You make sure that screens are always available (so you can play Sudoku if, God forbid, you have a panic attack.)
Warp speed is now the fastest you can spin your digital world, but when the next generation of technology makes us even "smarter," digital warp speed will appear slow by comparison.
Techeathiest Tip: The key to mastering a digital lifestyle at warp speed is to know your limits and have the ability to downshift if necessary. If you understand the price you pay for this lifestyle and you find a way to make it work, then go for it! Just be honest with yourself about how your happiness, relationships, productivity and health are affected by operating at such a blazing pace.
How many of these features of Digital Warp Speed match your lifestyle? Can you think of any other examples? Feel free to share.
Dr. Greg Kushnick is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Techealthiest where you can find the most actionable tips on the web for creating happiness within your personal digital world.