Addicted to technology?As an interactive marketer, I feel like I spend hours upon hours pondering apps and other interactive items that could add value to skiers and riders on the mountain. However, a recent New York Times article, “Your Brain on Computers – Attached to Technology and Paying a Price” prompted me to wonder if perhaps the mountains are a place that shouldn’t enable our always connected addiction to technology? To clarify, does is it in some way devalue the outdoor mountain experience of skiing and snowboarding if a resort is encouraging guests to pull out their mobile device and in the words of the article, “our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.” Or, as one of the people in the article says of her husband, “‘It seems like he can no longer be fully in the moment.”

The closing paragraphs of the story further the point:

Mr. Nass at Stanford thinks the ultimate risk of heavy technology use is that it diminishes empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another, even in the same room.

“The way we become more human is by paying attention to each other,” he said. “It shows how much you care.”

That empathy, Mr. Nass said, is essential to the human condition. “We are at an inflection point,” he said. “A significant fraction of people’s experiences are now fragmented.”

Obviously, a ski resort can’t shut down the cell services that provide data and voice services, but does it do itself a disservice by unintentionally providing a negative (an incentive to use technology) in an otherwise oasis away from technology. What do you think?

To wit, I just saw another story on this same topic on CNN titled, “Is the internet making us quick but shallow?” this is certainly an interesting topic to ponder.

Photo credit: Flickr user Jean & Nathalie via CC Attribution 2.0 Generic