Tech: Just A Busy Distraction?
Technology was meant to be an asset, a tool for enhancing our productivity and our lives. It was meant to free up time for us to do things that really mattered to us – in our real life. But, computers and machines we’ve built are replacing the nature patterns of boredom and business with distraction and interruption.
We’re supplementing our productivity with mindless business. In the process we’re fragmenting everything from our attention spans to our natural bio rhythms.
What Tech Can’t Do For Us:
If robots and animals had superior cognitive abilities than us humans, we would not be running the world today. Only humans have the power of imagination, intense curiosity, and can understand the cause and effect scenarios. Only we can contemplate deeply on the meaning of life and understand our ability that we can change our mind if we want to.
Spending an insane amount of time consuming information doesn’t make us intelligent humans. Age old wisdom has given way to knowledge, and thanks to our Technology revolution, knowledge has given way to information. An overload of it, so much so that we are unable to make sense of all of it. We’re not getting a bigger picture or a holistic view of it.
No Life App:
There’s no app that’s been designed to measure internal happiness and display it in a picture frame. Simply put, there’s no app on how to live life than actually living it, atleast not yet!
Tech skills don’t translate into people skills. Just because we’re connected to someone on all virtual platforms doesn’t mean we can hold a decent conversation with them face to face.
Nothing, no amount of “online” connection can replace the value of fostering deep and meaningful relationships. It can amass you a huge network of people, many of whom you will never meet in this lifetime. In 2014, in a survey of how many close friends people had, the most common response was 2. That’s just sad, isn’t it?
Seek social validation in the real world impact you make. Stop pretending, start living. Geo tagging our locations while checking ourselves into virtual apps is part of our modern lives today. Can we all stop to wonder if anyone else cares about our whereabouts other than our mothers? And lets be honest, in most cases, she might also be busy on her phone and not really care.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote one of the best essays on self reliance, that there’s no bigger asset in the world than ourselves. Yet, we want to be led, we seek outside what we already are within ourselves. We have become codependents of the same world where our ancestors hunted and lived off of it in full self sufficiency. We have now outsourced entertainment and pain management to technology and have become dependents on it to take care of us.
Just because we use technology all the time, it doesn’t mean we are masters of it. We haven’t fully understood the harmful affects of technology on our children. We haven’t taught them that its easy to call someone “Fat” on a screen than in person. Ask them to try this, they won’t regret the lesson.
Real world play doesn’t incentivize stupidity and mishaps like how virtual games like Candy Crush and Farmville do. When we fail big in the real world, we let our tenacity muscle develop and we try harder the next time.
If you’ve a lot to say, picking up the phone or in person communicating is still the most ideal and efficient way to get the point across. Tone changes and body language nuances can’t be captured via words on a screen. Misinterpretations lead to confusion and unforeseen and unproductive results. Robots can’t read emotions, however they might be getting better than humans, who are fast becoming machines.
Tech Is Here To Stay, Now What?
In this ever changing world of technology, are we really equipped to fight information overload, distraction addiction, sexting, materialism, cyber bullying and porn?
The answer might lie in our inner wisdom. By developing a strength of character that is strongly rooted in our values we can care for us and our children’s mental wellbeing and not feel the overwhelming need to keep pace with the exponential growth of the digital world around us.
By remembering the fundamentals of the real world, we might be able to navigate the online world better.
Technology will not remind us to blink, poop or make sense of all the information we’re consuming. It won’t curate our content (although Netflix and Kindle recommendations might beg to differ), watch the aggressive speech we use for responding to comments to friends and strangers, or police your actions behind the wall of anonymity of the web.
Technology might be telling us what our heart rate is and how little we’re sleeping but until technology can help us clean up our neurotoxins due to lack of sleep, self regulation is on us dude!