Overuse of Technology Can Kill

We have an opioid crisis in America. How do I know that? Because irresponsible physicians are prescribing opioid drugs too loosely and due to the fact that some of my friends have been affected by this inhumane epidemic. It is de facto one of the biggest societal crises of our time. Listen to me: At the core, this is a crisis of overuse of technology. 

The reality is that many of our children are becoming orphans and tons of Americans are dyeing every year because of hydrocodone, methadose, and oxycodone. Technology, ladies and gentleman, has been one of the main avenues to both distribute and consume these opioid prescriptions. Teens and other adults can now go to regular and encrypted websites, also known as the dark web, in order to get a hold of these drugs. How sad and dangerous. 

By the way, I’m not against people using the internet or prescription drugs to live a better life. I have a problem when technology starts making us live a worse life. 

Listen carefully: Technology has side effects like any other thing. Opioids are no exception as well as the mighty internet. As I always say, “use technology but in moderation” and if technology doesn’t make your live a better life, don’t use it! 

The proliferation of prescription drugs online is a real problem that can’t be ignored. All these technologies are causing so much pain in the live of so many. We need to so something about this. Overuse of technology and pain are one and the same.   

A dose of morphine equals 222 ibuprofen, 360 aspirin and acetaminophen. Hydrocodone is as strong as morphine. Oxycodone is 50% stronger than morphine. Methadone is 3 times stronger than morphine. Buprenorphine is 40 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl is 50-100 times stronger than morphine! And the last… Carfentanil is 10 thousand times stronger than morphine. That’s a lot. 

Although the Prescription Drug Monitoring System (PDMP’s) monitors the distribution of drugs in the market for people’s safety, technology is making it more complicated for them to enforce their safe policies which is putting in danger the lives of millions of Americans every year. Overuse of technology is at the center of this problem. Get real — technology can kill.

We have an opioid crisis in America. Many of our children are becoming orphans and tons of Americans are dyeing every year because of technology overdose. We need to so something about this. Overuse of technology and pain are one and the same. If technology doesn’t make your live a better life, don’t use it! Get real — technology can kill.

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Production Over Consumption

Ladies and gentleman, there is a big difference between documenting your life in social media and being addicted to smartphones. Just because one is broadcasting content live on facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is constantly scrolling or wasting time for hours on end on facebook. In fact, quite the contrary is often true! If you broadcast your life on instagram, meaning, you put a camera in front of you and start talking to your audience, you will be engaging in what I like to call TechnoModeration! Why? Well, this is what this article is all about! Fasten your seat belts and stay with me. This ride will be awesome. 

All right. Let’s start from the top. Social media presence isn’t the same thing as social media addiction or anything addiction. Being present on social media platforms is a strategy that many of us, me included, do. If you are a part of the American economy today, you better be on social media and everywhere. Why? Because if you don’t you become invisible. You, me, and the whole Tennessee Titans fan base are being bombarded everyday with thousands of messages in multiple channels throughout the day. How can anybody get any attention to what they do under such hard circumstances? Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of Vayner Media, has made a public statement — He said the following, “Attention is a currency” I agree with him. 

Notice that I’m not saying that you should be engaging for hours on end everyday or spend hours scrolling your friends’ content on snapchat. Putting a camera in front of you and sharing what you think or do on a daily basis, multiple times a day, may be the right thing to do these days — if your goal is to be discovered by someone in your niche or if you are planning to build a loyal audience to consume your content. 

In trueness, what I’m saying in here isn’t anything new. We have been engaging in personal brand development and using business development tactics and procedures for years in order to be visible before the age of social media networks. The difference is that today, it costs us a fraction of the price to do the work. I spend around an hour a day on social media engaging with my audience. However, I turn the camera on and talk to my audience for an additional half hour or so live. By live I mean live. I spend zero hours editing anything I share. 

You don’t have to be on your smartphone all the time to be visible these days. You can TechnoModerate! I most definitely do, even though some people may think I’m always engaging. Well, I’m not! Question? If I was always engaging with with my audience for 7 hours each day, how in the world would I have time to be a full time college professor? Elementary, right? Yep. 

Now, I maximize the use of AI in order to help me to be away from the computer so that I have more time to literally produce content at scale — Macro content as we refer to it in the field of communication. And from that, I can then repurpose more content in micro form in order to feed the content monster that is required for success in the media these days. Now, don’t take me wrong. It is still a lot of work but it isn’t that much computer work as you may think. There is a large degree of interpersonal and mediated communication work that I do but these activities aren’t social media heavy. They are communication heavy! 

I will be documenting my life online indefinitely because my goal right now is to build a more loyal audience organically. By organically I mean for free naturally. If your grandkid wants to position him/herself in the world today they better consider doing what I wrote in this article rather than spending hours on end “consuming” social media. They need to be “producing” social media, instead.  A person broadcasting their life online may sound goofy for many of you to hear but its the correct protocol for anyone wanting to build an audience today.  

A Conversation With Dr. A

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  1. Where are you from? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now I am an US Citizen.
  2. Where did you graduate college? Undergraduate? Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Do you have a funny/good memory from your college years? YES! participating in the play Jesus Christ Superstar as Annas, the high priest. 
  4. Do you have a family? Yes. I am married to my wife Amanda and we have two kids. Aurora (11) and Sophia (4).
  5. If so, how old are your children and how long have you and your wife been together? I have been with Amanda for 10 years. They are 11 and 4.
  6. Would you encourage your children or your friend’s children to come to Lee? 100% yes. In fact, I am already trying to recruit students from Brazil to come here. Let me put this way, “I like what I see.”
  7. If so, what would you say to them? Lee University is a fine institution located in a nice area in the South of the USA. Lee is a great school which I plan to send my own kids to for college, Lord willing. This institution is worth your investment. 
  8. Where did you work before you came to Lee and what did you do there? I have worked in a number of institutions prior to coming to Lee. I started my career as a professor at Waynesburg University (Division III), a Christian School in Western Pennsylvania located near the West Virginia border where I was an Assistant Professor of Communication and Head Golf Coach. I was there for a few years until a position opened at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Division II) about two hours east. At IUP, I held a number of positions including being an Assistant Professor of Communications Media from 2010-2013. In 2013, I was early promoted to Associate Professor and was then asked by a Dean to consider working in academic administration (As Chair) due to my gregarious personality and attention to detail. In 2014, I was elected Assistant Department Chair and appointed APSCUF (Union) representative to the Provost (Monitoring Committee), two highly visible positions in that institution. In 2015, I was elected Interim Department Chair of another department (ACE) per Dean’s request, helping to advance the department’s vision and recruiting a whole cohort of Masters Degree students with another professor. Later that year, I received a letter of tenure by the president of IUP.  I then accepted a position at Jackson State University (Division I) Fall 2015 to create a school of communication which I wrote the justification for why such unit should exist in the state o Mississippi and three months after my hire, JSU was granted such honor. Jackson State brought me down as a  tenured Associate Professor to eventually lead the unit which I did for about a year as their appointed Interim Department Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator.  Family and the Lee university’s mission brought our family to Lee University.    
  9. How did you find out about Lee and what made you want to come work here? A former Lee Chair, Dr. Robert Graham, told me once about Lee University when he was a Dean of Students at Waynesburg University. The mission of working with students again attracted me to this institution and family. Jackson State is headed towards becoming a R1 Research institution and I felt that my talents were more aligned with the mission of a teaching institution. 
  10. Word on the street is, you have done some TedTalks. Can you tell us a little about your experience doing that?  I have delivered a TEDx talk titled, “Breaking Free From technology“ back in 2013, yes. The experience of delivering a TEDx in one of the oldest TEDx locations in the USA was surreal. Having presented in the historical Colonial Theatre near Philadelphia, where the original film “The Blob” was filmed was also a treat. There was so much history and representation from TED main on that event. Mark Levy, my stage coach and brand/positioning mentor, was also a big treat. I don’t have enough words to thank Mark Levy for taking the time to coach me for TEDxPhoenixville. Mark’s clients include a White House Department Head, Broadway and Las Vegas Performers, Harvard University Strategic figures, Top CEO’s and New York Best Selling Authors. I can’t believe he still has my testimonial video on his website to this day! Being on the red carpet was awesome. A TEDx event is everything you think it is. It is intellectual, fun, nerve racking, and without question an experience of a lifetime.   
  11. What was your initial impression of working at Lee? My first impression of Lee was that our institution was well lead. Our university seems to be well lead by a number of talented individuals all throughout the university. Having served in positions of leadership before perhaps gives me a little bit of perspective about leadership effectiveness. This institution is all about the students which I love it.
  12. Has that impression proven true or false? From what I can see, my impressions seem to be right on. 
  13. What do you hope to see happen this coming year in the students and/or campus? I hope to see as many students being placed in as many jobs as possible and for our campus to increase enrollment and brand recognition. Seeing student happy makes me happy.
  14. Is there any one in your life that has impacted you in a tremendous way? If so, who and how? Absolutely, yes. His name is Kurt Dudt. Kurt was a long term Department Chair (the most influential Chair at IUP), Combat Marine and trainer of South Vietnamese soldiers in Vietnam who taught me how to lead people, pick battles, fight wars, and get things done in higher education. He shared with me a list of books that every American General must read in order to become one. It has changed the way I see things in the workforce and helps me tremendously with advising young men and women in colleges and universities.  
  15. Do you have any advice that you would give to your students at Lee? Of course! Listen carefully: Life doesn’t “happen” as quick as you may think it does. Slow down and reflect! Speak with your professors and engage in introspection once in a while. Put that smartphone away for a good bit each week and enjoy college life. Go to chapel and pray! Understand first, judge second. Be a good listener and learn how to speak in public. Don’t burn bridges because you never know if you are going to cross that bridge again in your life. Create a website and avoid gossip at all costs. Exercise and eat healthy. Make Jesus Christ the center of your life.

*Interview done for the Vindagua… an award winning publication at Lee University.