Shiny Object Addiction: A 7-Step Program

Hi. My name is Joe and I have Shiny Object Addiction. I naturally reach for the hot tool of the day. The latest devices, the iPad, the iPhone 4G. The cool services like Twitter, Foursquare and now QR codes. The techie productivity tools like Evernote and Dropbox.

I do this because of peer pressure, buzz and the desire to be first. I have little regard for need or utility. I waste time and money, especially when it's yours.

I'm guilty of fondling the hammer too much, and I guess I should have been struck with blindness years ago.

Last week when I wrote about QR codes Estrella Rosenberg wrote what I think a lot of us were feeling.

Great Joe....something new for me to obsess over, investigate and plan campaigns around!!

I write about these new shiny objects with gusto, but I feel Estrella's anxiety and pain.

Fortunately, I spent years in Alcoholics Anonymous. Not for me, but with my Dad, who achieved sobriety thanks to AA.

Like alcohol, shiny objects are an addiction that need their own step program. Here's mine.

Step 1: I am powerless to shiny objects. I admit I've kissed my iPhone before I kissed my wife before bed each night. That's wrong. (I have since reversed the order.)

Step 2: I believe that a power greater than myself can restore my sanity. That power is a strict adherence to the bottom-line benefits of these shiny objects. If I'm clear on how they can or will raise money for my cause, make me more productive and enhance my professional development they will serve me well.

Step 3: I've made a decision to turn my life over to the care of a divine being. Actually, two: my wife, Deb, and my closest colleague, Joanna MacDonald. Because if Shiny Object Addiction doesn't kill me, they most certainly will. I'm committed to taking their advice on which shiny objects I should stick with and which ones I should shelf. Since my wife introduces herself to people as a "Twidow" whose husband drowned in the stream of Twitter, and Joanna who thinks email is social media, this should be interesting. But I am all trusting. It will be good to get advice from two people outside the beltway of tech and social media.

Step 4: I've made a moral inventory of my offenses. I've bought new tech I neither needed nor could afford. I've checked-in to places I never visited. I've tweeted at funerals. I've praised shiny objects that I've never even tried. I've ridiculed people who carry planners. There's a place for people like me in Hell. And there are no bars.

Step 5: I've admitted to others the error of my ways. I plan a full confessional to Geoff Livingston as he was the one who prompted me to reform my wicked ways. Like the public outcry that followed the Komen/Kentucky Fried Chicken cause marketing pact, my chickens have come home to roost. At least I didn't compound my error by deep frying my chickens and selling them as health food.

Step 6: I've created a list of people I've offended, and plan to make ammends to them all. My family will be first. As for the rest of you: don't call me, I'll call you.

Step 7: I want to bring these steps to others afflicted with Shiny Object Addiction. Surely I'm not the only one who's trod to the edge of the abyss.

Have you taken similar steps to curb your use of these shiny objects?

What's your step program to control your addiction and avoid possible blindness?