You're just going to start following that app, and eventually it's going to be completely controlling your life, while you have the sensation that you're deciding. Adams and other critics of the self-quantification movement see that our phones, watches, and wearables promise insight, knowledge, and freedom, but what they really deliver is information overload, confusion, and servitude. In spending our so-called leisure time indoors mindlessly pounding away on stationary objects, we're severing our connection to the natural world. As my good friend and surfer Laird Hamilton told me, Technology's tendency to insulate us from nature while we're participating in it ultimately leads to us failing to absorb all it has to offer. Disabled people suffer from income inequality too; Most inequality analysis focuses on income rather than wealth. While income inequality is stark, it pales in comparison to wealth inequality. Let me help put this into perspective by examining my own financial and educational background. You may have heard the expression born with a silver spoon in their mouth. That phrase describes the life I was born into, almost literally. For those of us with a social justice lens, it's a derogatory trope, implying a sense of entitlement rather than recognition of the unearned advantages that led to the wealth. My parents didn't see it this way. They were so proud to be able to offer me opportunity that they actually bought a silver baby spoon and engraved it with my name and birth date to commemorate my birth. My parents were proud of what our family had accomplished. Those who suffer from computer addiction tend to prioritize computer use above all other daily activities and responsibilities. A computer addiction, as with any other type of addiction, can lead to serious life problems, such as issues with careers, relationships, and health, resulting from an excessive amount of time on the computer and neglecting important obligations. Self-Medicating with Tech When we're bored we feel sluggish, uninspired, weary or apathy. Boredom is emotionally painful. And like most people, I don't like feeling bored either so I can appreciate the desire to want to escape it.

But, more times than not, chronic boredom, such as the type Al was experiencing, isn't just a benign and normal state of being but rather it's a symptom of a much deeper issue like unresolved anger and rage, powerlessness, depression, grief, anxiety or feelings around lacking purpose and meaning in one's life. Self-medicating negative emotions, like boredom, is not a new phenomenon. The term self-medicating was originally associated with alcohol or substance abuse. Anything we do to suppress, deny, avoid, or minimize negative emotions is considered a self-medicating behavior. We're missing out because we're looking down at our phones the whole time, and that's having an effect on our brain. With our ever-increasing dependence on technology, we're outsourcing our independence, and we risk creating a dangerous addiction that can wreak physical, emotional, and societal havoc. And while we waste hours artificially stimulating our brains with gadgets in our homes, gyms, and fitness studios, we're depriving ourselves of the exposure to wind, sunlight, water, and the other elements that can help us be fully alive, if only we'd let them. Those of us who do make the effort to be active outside are little better off. With headphones blocking out birdsong, sunglasses and sunscreen shielding us from the light we've somehow come to fear, and gizmos in our pockets and on our wrists diverting our attention, we've turned rich-tasting experiences into dried-out, flavorless husks that exist only to provide us with a few more steps on our activity tracker and a couple more ounces lost when we step on our digital scale. As we relentlessly work toward our goals, we lose awareness of anything beyond what's right in front of us and neglect to do what my friend Tim Ferriss suggests and pause occasionally to appreciate the little things, like meaningless beauty that has nothing to do with any objective, nothing to do with any metric, and nothing to do with any plan. Even as we're losing our ability to wonder at the sun rising above the sea or setting behind a mountain, we're focusing more and more on material gain. We mistakenly believe that dropping thousands of dollars on ultralight bike frames, custom-made paddleboards, and other high-priced gear will improve our performance and fulfill our materialistic urges, when in reality it has just created an unwinnable arms race that's sucking away what's left of our souls. From recreational sports leagues to the pros to youth sports, we've abandoned spontaneous, chaotic, and unbound exploration for a predictable, controllable, regimented grind that does little to satisfy beyond the narrow, self-limiting goals we set for ourselves. And the programs that we adhere to so religiously and that tell us what to do, how much, and when are largely based on outdated notions and popularly accepted junk science concepts that mislead us yet further. Their parents came as penniless immigrants to this country, Jews escaping the pogroms of Poland, and only a generation later, my parents were thriving in the upper middle class. We descended from people victimized by racial genocide overseas and continued to be victimized by anti-Semitism in this country. The narrative my parents imparted to me--and believed--was that anyone who tries hard enough could overcome adversity and succeed, that we had worked hard for and deserved our wealth and advantage. While the hard work was certainly true, this narrative invisibilizes the skin-color privileges that supported our success: from hiring advantages and GI Bill coverage for education and home ownership (which was often inaccessible to People of Color), to bank loans (often refused to People of Color), redlining (the practice of differentiating areas of a city by race, often leading to the denial of necessary goods and services to People of Color), police protection (not similarly granted to People of Color), and much, much more. Others who work just as hard but have fewer advantages don't get this outcome. A deeper dive into family history reveals even more flaws in the notion that we live in a meritocracy.

Consider my grandmother's story--she went from rags to riches, seemingly embodying the American dream. Yet the backstory shows how illusory this is. My grandmother came to America as a preteen, fleeing the Nazi occupation of Poland prior to World War II. The Nazis had occupied her home, stealing her family's food and belongings, terrorizing them, and relegating them to the floor while the police occupied their beds. Al was using the computer to self-medicate his repressed feelings of helplessness and powerlessness regarding his mother's sickness and his feelings about losing her at such a young and tender age. Al needed help mourning the loss of his mother, which he'd never done before. I want to point out that a serious consequence of self-medicating behaviors is their tendency to cause us more problems than the original problem we were self-medicating in the first place. For example, it's not hard to see how self-medicating behaviors like watching hours of pornography online would create conflict in our relationships, how overshopping and overspending could land us in debt, how overeating to the point of overweight can become a serious medical issue, and how overexercising can cause physical injuries. Generally speaking, we all have had moments when we feel stuck or like we've hit a wall. And, as it was for Al, being stuck is an inner feeling of stagnation and paralysis that can feel beyond our control. When we feel stuck--whether it's because we never grieved a significant loss or we feel stuck in a relationship or in a job because we're afraid of change--it's normal that we begin to question our core purpose, our life's path, and even our ability to make decisions. Being stuck causes us to feel hopeless and uninspired, and it's not a surprise to learn that feeling stuck can feel like boredom, leading to self-medicating behaviors like overdrinking, overeating, overshopping, spending too much time on social media, and overgambling, for example. So you might now ask, What are some of the other common causes that lead us to feeling stuck? Some of the most common causes include the following. As a result, we burn ourselves out mentally and wear our bodies down physically, until we lapse back into our old bad lifestyle habits in search of solace. Despite the promises of technology, we're sicker, more worried, and less fulfilled than ever before. Indeed, 2016 saw the first reduction in life expectancy in the US in decades. So why is our overdependence on fitness technology a problem? First, we've distanced ourselves from nature to the point that we barely even notice the world around us, let alone allow ourselves the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that regular, unfiltered immersion in it can provide. Second, we're sacrificing genuine, deep interactions with real humans for the artificial community that online apps provide.

And third, we've stopped listening to the innate instincts that our body provides, preferring to be semiconscious and outsource decision-making to technology that is often wildly inaccurate. Instead of wielding fitness technology to solve problems, increase self-education, and enhance our connection to ourselves, other people, and the world around us, we've allowed it to create new issues, dull our understanding, and isolate us. In our blind belief that more technology equals advancement, we're arguably regressing. Then there's the fact that despite all the gaudy marketing claims of fitness technology, our performance hasn't actually improved much with all this gear, if at all. Upon immigrating to the United States, she moved in with extended family in a tiny cramped tenement apartment on the Lower East Side of New York City. She spoke no English and got the only job available to girls in her situation, working long hours under unsafe conditions in a silk factory, where she was horribly exploited. Her family members worked similarly hard. All the family's earnings went toward survival; Later, when they had greater income, the money was invested in my grandmother's brothers' education and denied to her. Seeing no way out, my grandmother demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity: she stole a sewing machine and fabric and built a small business in the little time she had away from her factory job. She learned English and absorbed silk trade lore by listening to conversations among her bosses at work. The business she started, later called Bacon & Graham, thrived and was passed through my father to, at present, my brother. It's grown through the past eighty years, now employing over fifty people. I asked my grandmother to tell me about Graham, presumably her business partner. Underlying depression Fear of making mistakes Feeling powerless and hopeless Ambivalence Discomfort with trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone No longer feeling curious to try new things

Although these are common feelings that everyone can experience, it's important to remind ourselves that all change begins within us and that we are our own agents of change. Skill-Building Strategy Below are five things you can do now to help you get unstuck and move forward. Every day, do at least one thing you enjoy. When exercise scientists put Olympic one-hundred-meter silver medalist Andre De Grasse in the same clothing and shoes that Jesse Owens wore in 1936 and had him run on cinders instead of a modern synthetic track, his best time was actually slower than the man who famously defied Hitler in the 1936 Olympics. And if we look at weightlifting feats, today's tech-aided power athletes might be setting new squat and dead lift records but are lagging far behind the stone-lifting and object-throwing feats of predecessors from hundreds of years ago (see Chris McDougall's excellent article Natural Born Heroes for examples). We've been misled into believing that working out endlessly indoors in $200 shoes under the guidance of wearable algorithms will somehow transform us from Tony Stark into Iron Man. But once we take off the flying suit, we find we're just as fallible and fragile as ever. Or we try to simplify and isolate elements of the incredibly complex human organism and start measuring the wrong things or things that cannot be accurately quantified. According to an Ericsson ConsumerLab report entitled Wearable Technology and the Internet of Things, sales of wearables almost doubled in the past year. One survey reported that 79 percent of people who used a popular device felt pressured to reach their daily targets, with 59 percent saying it controlled their daily routines and 30 percent viewing it as their enemy. If you wear a device 24/7, you begin relying on it to tell you how your body is performing, what you're doing right and wrong, and how much effort you're putting in. It used to be that we'd listen to our own instincts about such things and act accordingly. But now millions of people are content to hand over their self-monitoring and decision-making to a machine, which, they reason, must know better because it's smart technology. The day she answered that question was the day I became a feminist. My grandmother told me that nobody would do business with a woman, so she invented a fictitious male business partner. When people asked to speak to Mr Graham, she would say, Oh, Mr Graham's not available right now, but he's asked me to help you. So, let's review. How did my family fortune get started? Criminal activity (stealing) helped them overcome anti-Semitism and discrimination against immigrants, later bolstered by lying to combat sexism, and greatly supported by the racism that provided opportunities to white people while discriminating against People of Color.