By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 96 - A Healthy New Year


3 Jan 2013

Hey everyone,

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday - a little break from work and/or school.  I am currently "on vacation" -- actually, my mom is in the hospital, so, I took an unexpected vacation during Christmas and am still off.  She is getting better and hopefully will be well enough to come home soon.  Those who have called, texted, emailed me and who have visited my mom, I am really grateful for your support and kindness.  When I mention your support and regards to my mom, she is really touched and blessed.  I apologize I did not mention the news to all of you, but, I hope you will understand that it takes time to explain things.  Mom also has her friends who are understandably concerned about her too, so, I have been returning phone calls to them.  So, that is the news about my mom and hopefully, she and I, and all of you will be in good health for 2013!  That is my biggest wish for everyone! 

What I would like to talk about this month is our New Year's resolutions.  Many people will make New Year's resolutions each year.  For some, they can accomplish their goals.  For many, New Year's resolutions are made and broken within a month.  If one of those resolutions is to be in better health, I thought I would talk about ADDICTION, OBSESSION and PASSION.

First of all, let me define ADDICTION. Dictionary.com defines ADDICTION as follows:

Noun - the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

When I was thinking about on my first episode of KaTsZoNe for 2013, New Year's resolutions came to mind.  What came to mind was how our society is totally surrounded by technology and the positive and negative effects it has had on our physical and psychological health.  I often think that I spend too much time of my computer and Blackberry.  It leaves little time for my tablet and e-book reader, never mind my poor old 5th generation iPod which has been dismally ignored.  One friend started calling me as a Gadget Girl, a nickname which I still call myself from time to time.  I wonder how technology has effected me.

On January 1st, I watched an episode of Anderson Live who had a woman named Tangela speak about her addiction to technology.  She is using technology for about 8 hours a night, had 3 Facebook accounts, used Twitter religiously, and constantly checks her Smartphone for emails.  She was engaged, but, she said that her fiancé broke up with her because of her addiction to technology which did not cause her to change her habits - until now.  She went on Anderson Live to seek help.  When asked how she felt when her smartphone was taken away from her for three hours, she said she was quite anxious and felt a bit sweaty because seeing her phone beside her caused a great urge for her to check her emails.  Dr. Kelly McGonigal wrote a book, How to Oversome a Habit, who started to help Tangela with her addiction to technology.  Dr. McGonigal told Tangela that in 3 hours, she had received 27 emails.  Do you know what went through my mind?  She received ONLY 27 messages in 3 hours?  If they could only see how many emails I receive within 3 hours -- try 70 in a typical afternoon!  I have heard that some people receive even more than me.  I am glad I don't have a Blackberry for my job too, like many people I know.

You may ask, how is technology an addiction compared to alcohol, smoking or food.  For Tangela, she admitted she was shaking a bit and felt anxious when her phone sat next to her at the table and she could not reach for it yet, after 3 hours.  If get anxious, sweaty, shaky, and have a total MELTDOWN, when your emails don't come through for a few hours, you could be addicted to technology.  If must tell everyone on the Facebook every moment of your waking life, you might be addicted to technology.  You might say, when you see so many people using technology everywhere, that we may all be addicted.  Dr. McGonigal's books offers 3 steps to help people overcome a habit.  Take a look at Anderson Cooper's website to read more about Tangela and Dr. McGonigal's book at www.andersoncooper.com/2013/01/01/how-to-overcome-a-habit/.

If not an addiction, we may have an OBSESSION with ideas, things, or people.  An OBSESSION may be defined as follows:

Noun

1.the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
2.the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
3.the state of being obsessed.
4.the act of obsessing.


For many, technology may be an obsession rather than an addiction.  You are always in line, on the first day, whenever a new iPhone is released and once you take it home, you sleep with it for weeks, maybe months.  You spend more time with your iPad than with your friends.  In 2011, I remember walking by the Apple Store at the Eaton Centre before it opened.  I was Christmas shopping.  A salesperson was standing at the door and chatted with him for a bit because the Apple store was not open yet.  We started chatting about the latest iPad.  He said to me, "If your boyfriend got an iPad for Christmas, you'll never see him."  I replied, "I'll probably email him from my tablet."

Some people may neither be addicted or obsessed with technology, but, perhaps, they have a PASSION for it.  PASSION may be defined as follows:


Noun

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
3. strong sexual desire; lust.
4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.
5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

The example about iPhones, iPads and other technology which you may love and cannot be without could be a passion.  If you can tell me the specs for an iPhone 5 and most Apple products, then, I would say you are truly passionate about Apple.  I have friends who call me whenever they have a question about Starbucks which made me wonder, it could be lead me to a new career some day!  Being passionate about technology is similar to a passion for sports, music, coin collecting, gardening, creative writing, etc.

The words ADDICTION, OBSESSION, and PASSION may seem similar by definition.  As we consider our New Year's resolutions or as part of our goals in life, I think if one of our goals is to become healthier and be able to lead a more balanced lifestyle, we need to take a look at all three, to ensure that we are not confusing ADDICTION, OBSESSION, and PASSION.  

So, considering all three, do I think I have an addiction, obsession or passion for technology?  My friend, Irene, may think that I go through withdrawal symptoms if I could not access email for a day, so, from her perspective, she would probably say I am addicted to technology and am obsessed with Starbucks.  I would like to say that I have a PASSION for information and customized coffees and teas! 

This year, I hope we can all lead healthier and more balanced lives. Good luck with those New Year's resolutions and with all your goals and pursuits in 2013 and beyond!

I wish you all good health, peace, happiness and prosperity in 2013!

Katherine

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