Today’s outdoorsman is falling victim to quite possibly the most crippling (and distracting) disorder known to hunters and fishermen. Are you currently suffering from TIHADD?
You’ve been set up in your treestand for a approximately an hour and a half. The evening’s movement has been slow thus far, but it’s early, so no worries.
Your mind begins to wander, and your concentration goes slack. Little do you know but It is about to hit you like a ton of bricks.
There is an epidemic sweeping the outdoor community and with each passing season we see more and more of our brothers and sisters in camo falling victim to it. This disorder isn’t specific to just hunters, or fisherman, or the outdoor enthusiast in general, and its symptoms can rear their ugly heads at nearly any moment.
TIHADD, which subsequently stands for Technology Induced Hunter Attention Deficit Disorder, is robbing many of us of the very peace and quiet we are seeking while enjoying our outdoor world.
Let’s be honest. TIHADD isn’t technically a real disorder, but we are noticing more and more people spending time distracted by their smart phones (and other devices) while in the outdoors. Constant texting, selfies, and all out perusing of our virtual lives has taken the place of quality time spent. They even make “texting” hand muffs and gloves these days.
I will be honest and admit that I am quite possibly suffering from one of the worst cases myself, often spending hours of my time scrolling through local forums, checking game scores, work emails, and weather reports, all while refreshing my Facebook feed a couple hundred times. What are we doing to ourselves? While a select few of us may hit the woods or water solely to find content for our Pinterest Board, I can guarantee that the overwhelming majority are seeking at least some level of relaxation and reflection while spending time outside.
Many of us remember a time when even having a phone in the woods with us was unheard of, and the peace and tranquility of being “disconnected” is something we looked forward to all week long. The excitement of sharing a big buck taken had to wait until you got back to camp, not shared in an instant via text or Snapchat. We simply told someone we were going hunting, or fishing, and didn’t show back up through the door until we were done, with little contact with the outside world in between.
Not to sound like the proverbial “Back in my day” grandfather of yesteryear, but when and why have we become so disconnected from living in the moment while spending time outdoors? Before we point the finger at Mark Zuckerburg and the countless others who catapulted our society into eternal ever-connectedness, we really need to look at ourselves.
The truth is that many of us have forgotten how to just “be” in the moment. According to mobilestatistic.com, people spend on average approximately 23 hours each year staring into our phones. Thats about 90 minutes a day, and when added up, equates to about four years of your life spent staring at your phone.
Daily UK even reports that one in every eight of us are actually addicted to our smart device, affecting our everyday lives and even our safety, as this man found out nearly walking into a black bear while glued to his phone. We can all attest that these statistics are likely further exacerbated on a day when the fish aren’t biting, ducks aren’t flying, and the deer aren’t moving.
In all honesty, the ability to be connected to nearly everyone and everything you care about through a tiny device that fits in your pocket has changed our lives, and in some respects, for the better.
For the hunter and fisherman, the fact that we can capture and share our outdoor experiences with those that we love and perhaps provide some perspective for those who may not understand what we do is a powerful thing.
Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly nothing wrong with taking the occasional picture of a few sunsets and pushing them out on your Instagram account, but do yourself a favor the next time you hit the woods or water: Try turning that phone off for a few hours, kick back, and watch what this amazing world has to show you.
Let’s all get back to basics and try to really get all that our outdoor experiences have to offer. You might be surprised truly at how much you have been missing.