Simplify Technology

Technology fatigue is the mental fatigue felt from over using technology. The smart watch on your wrist is letting you know you’ve reached your steps goal for the day. A call came in while you were trying to record your kid’s first steps, corrupting the video. The laptop you can’t leave home without in fear you’ll be without when work calls you in your free time needs a charge before you leave the house. You cell phone turns from convenience, to leash, to noose before you realize you’re exhausted.

You’re exhausted from the constant notifications. The continuous stream of texts while trying to listen to that book-on-MP3. An unending flow of phone calls or email from work where you’re feeling more like a tent-pole keeping the canopy standing.

Everything is connected. You’re never outside of arms reach. You’re never alone.

It is a slow recovery.

Cancel your video streaming services. You aren’t watching them anyway- your roommate has taken over the living room.

Cancel your music streaming services. The same songs have been on your playlist the last six months.

Break free of your cell phone. Get a watch that doesn’t monitor your movements, or tether you to your phone. A nice DSLR won’t corrupt the video if you receive a phone call. A PDA (“personal data assistant”- remember those?) won’t interrupt dinner to ask if you want notifications on whatever inane thing you “Googled” once.

Silo work to your office. Time spent living life should not have to come with an asterisk.

Leave those wireless bluetooth earbuds in their plastic cage. You’re going to read that novel, you’re making time to enjoy those prose, it won’t be dictated background noise you think you enjoyed but can’t repeat a word from.

When you find yourself scrolling through a social media feed while “watching” TV, realize you aren’t really engaging in either. Turn them both off. Do that thing you’ve been meaning to do.

Technology is great when it takes repetitive tasks out of your hands. It is not great when technology overtakes your life, forcing itself into every engagement and interaction you’re now missing in life. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology by Neil Postman suggests we have gone from a tool-using culture, to a culture used by tools- a sentiment I agree with. Simplify and reduce your interactions with technology to free yourself to live a life, not to be used by technology.

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