Another new iPhone? It’s overwhelming!
Everyday there are new headlines featuring fancy new technologies promising to slice and dice through our daily tasks.
Endless streams of commercials for new computers, widely publicized press events for new smartphones, email blasts for new apps, huge store displays for new TV’s… there are disruptions for new everything… no wonder our society has a collective case of ADHD.
And our pain is understandable. We may buy an expensive new cell phone that is outdated before taking it out of the box. We may spend a week learning how to use a new app that receives a complete facelift two days later.
But is this technology ruining our lives? Or are we letting our lives be destroyed by technology?
There must be a silver lining to the rise of technology?
Minimalism Through Technology
Today I read a post from a well-known minimalist blogger, whom I respect immensely, about the unnecessary need of an iPhone.
And maybe new gadgets do go against true minimalism – as less is more. But the world isn’t changing in favor of our ideals. The world is evolving en masse.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
In a classical sense of the term evolution, we see animals adapt physically to their surroundings. But these changes occurred over countless generations.
Throughout our society, evolution is happening exponentially. At a pace often impossible to comprehend. But it’s not happening physically. Humans are generally not becoming stronger or faster. We are creating external tools to help us evolve.
But unfortunately, people love to reflect nostalgically of the past:
“Remember when we didn’t have cell phones?” I’ve heard people say a million times.
Yeah, I remember not having a cell phone. We had impossible times communicating.
Land lines? Obnoxious. Calling cards? Complicated. Pay phones? Gross.
And that was in my lifetime. My parents had it worse with switchboards and community lines. My grandparents I’d imagine would simply lose touch with family and friends as postal letters were only as effective as you know their address. Our ancestors? They had no options for long-distance communication. People would simply disappear out of their lives.
Fast forward to the current world. Where communication has evolved from letters, telegraphs, and static-filled phone calls to that of tweets, pokes, and texts. Is technology ruining our life? No. We have evolved.
And as Darwin once famously noted, those who are able to change with the surroundings will survive.
The way I see it, there are only two scenarios for society:
- Adopt the latest technology, (wisely)
- Allow the world to leave you behind
So unless you plan on living the rest of your life on an island, disconnected from the outside world, you must embrace technology. It’s not slowing or going away anytime soon.
But remember, with all the hoopla surrounding the growing lists of distractions in the palm of your hand. It is up to you on how to handle them.
I could give you a shovel and say, “You can do a lot with this.”
It doesn’t mean you need to dig holes 80% of the day.
A shovel is a tool for accomplishing a task. Nothing more, nothing less. So when handed a shovel, you decide what to do with it. The shovel doesn’t force you to dig trenches in the backyard. So goes for the iPhone, it is only a tool.
Technology can ruin your life…
But only if you let it.