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Ian Somerhalder Says Our Obsession With Tech Is 'A 21st-Century Disease'

The actor-slash-advocate speaks up about one major problem with people becoming too consumed with modern tech.

Unlike his "Vampire Diaries" counterpart -- who has something of a sinister side beneath all the sexy smoldering -- Ian Somerhalder is an unabashed bleeding heart IRL, devoting much of his downtime to environmental, humanitarian and animal rights advocacy projects by way of his Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

He's a long-time champion of green technology and sustainable human practices, so when CNET magazine recruited him to cover its newest issue -- which focuses on the coming advent of self-driving cars -- he had a lot of interesting things to say about the subject.

While Somerhalder is generally favorable to the idea of machinery that'll help save lives and reduce pollution -- as these vehicles theoretically would -- he says we need to be cautious about the influence that tech has upon our lives and behavior.

Specifically, he doesn't want us to become the walking dead as a result of all the automation.

"When you look down at your phone and it says 3G, and you say, 'Oh, my God, it's just 3G,' that is a disease. That is a 21st-century disease," he told the mag. "That is not a good thing that we get so impatient. That trickles down to how impatient we are with our animals, with our kids, with our teachers, with people in traffic."

Somerhalder speaks from experience on that point, BTW.

"I was texting with my management about something and I was really frustrated and in a rush, and I walked into a pole and whacked my head," he told the mag. "I didn't get angry. I just said, 'Case in point. Slow down. You don't have to accomplish everything at the same time. This is ridiculous. Take a breath. It's going to be OK.'"

That's not to say he doesn't want us to continue to make strides in the tech world -- in fact, quite the contrary. "I live for tech," he admitted. "It's the future. I just want to humanize tech and I want tech to humanize us."