This blog post is hopefully the first of many. I have noticed how much the digital age and technology, and more specifically, how our smart phones, have dramatically changed the way we behave and live our lives. In some ways, having a positive impact, but in many ways, a detrimental one. It affects each of us differently, some experience a negative impact on their physical and mental health, while others experience a negative impact on relationships with family and friends. I believe, that we are even experiencing a negative impact on society, as a whole. It seems people are starting to take notice though. More and more people are starting to take action to be less plugged in…aka “unplugged” (a throwback to The Matrix).
I’d like to share the strategies I have deployed to help reclaim my life, from what I am terming the “digital black hole” or the “digital stuck”. I haven’t decided which I like better. You can just refer to it as The Matrix, if you so wish.
Growing up in the 80’s, I have seen quite a change. Going from Walkman (portable tape player), to Discman (portable CD player), to MP3 player, to now having an app called Spotify for all my music needs. Most kids growing up these days, will only know of Spotify. Do people still buy ipods?
With all this advancement in technology, things are pretty cool now, however, with all this, we have become a world accustomed to instant gratification. We get everything we want in seconds. Whether it be information, movies, music, services, etc. Soon, with the help of 3d printers, perhaps even products on a large scale, will be made instantly in our homes.
The world has become so “instant”, and there is no need to wait anymore. If you want a dose of nostalgia, watch an episode of Stranger Things on Netflix. Ah does that show bring back memories of more peaceful and relaxing times. We have forgot how to live analog and disconnected lives. And I think the key to happiness is to be able to balance the two. For example, reading a paperback book as opposed to a book on a kindle. Playing a game of connect four with your son (the physical one), not the app version. These things still exist, and we should probably enjoy them more than we do. It allows us to slow things down and take time to clear our minds.
I think a lot of the blame, sits with those shiny super computers in our pockets. Of course we don’t want to go back to the 80s (well, some of us might, those that miss the fashion), so we need to learn to live in this new digital age without completely being sucked into it and becoming mindless zombies. So how do we escape the black hole from time to time, and enjoy a bit of analog?
Well, I think it starts with getting control over our phones. Using our phones to serve us, rather than them controlling what we do. Think about how often you get a vibration from your phone or hear the ding of an SMS. I bet you immediately reach for your phone. That sounds like the phone owns us, not the other way around.
There are some simple steps that can be taken to limit the interaction with our phones and other digital things we own. These changes can help us achieve a nice balance between our digital and analog worlds. By making these changes, we can still take advantage of the great things the digital world brings, but not be controlled by it.
When time allows, I will post a new blog entry with one of my tips or an interesting article on this subject. I hope you find my future blog posts interesting and useful!
Let’s reclaim our lives together! Unplug from the grid!