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Technical Difficulties

Today, I’m grieving. Specifically, I’m grieving the loss of my laptop and with it several years’ worth of files. 

Technical DifficultiesThe good news is that I’d made backups of important documents. The bad news is that there were quite a few files I overlooked when backing up my data, either because I forgot about them, I didn’t realize at the time how much extra work losing them would create, or I just hadn’t gotten around to copying them over to “the cloud” yet.

Now, I’ve said a lot of nice things about technology over the years. I’ve even waxed poetic (blogged poetic?) about how technology is making the future look bright for people with ADHD. But after all these good things I said about technology, technology still screwed me over. I feel like I kind of got a raw deal.

Of course, if I’m being honest, I still think computers, the interwebs, etc. etc. have made it easier to have ADHD. Consider:

  • Electronic files, which unlike paper files pretty much organize themselves
  • Smartphone calendars and other organization apps
  • Paying bills online

On the other hand, technology can amplify our careless mistakes. This is true for everyone — it’s just that people with ADHD make more than their fair share of careless mistakes on average. I’m talking about:

  • Sending an email to the wrong person or sending someone the wrong attachment
  • Losing your phone. Losing your keys is bad, but given the choice, I’d probably rather have my keys fall into the wrong hands (assuming those hands don’t know where I live, of course).
  • Deleting the wrong file or losing files due to computer problems. Although papers can get misplaced, at least they don’t cease to exist at a moment’s notice.
  • Artificial intelligence turning on us and taking over the world

OK, that last one doesn’t really have to do with ADHD.

All in all, I’m a big fan of technology as a tool for ADHD management, but precautions must be taken! Basically, back up your files, folks. Just do it. Go do it right now. You can come leave a comment to thank me later.

Image: Flickr/Sybren Stüvel

Technical Difficulties

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on psychology, ADHD and education. In addition to ADHD Millennial, he writes about psychology at Psych Central's AllPsych blog and about ADHD at He can be found on Twitter at @ADaptHD_blog

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2016). Technical Difficulties. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Oct 2016
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