One of the biggest challenges of modernity is making sure that technology serves you, and not the other way around. Whether it is as subtle as keeping the apps on your phone to an essential minimum or sticking to a simple moka pot rather than a fancy new coffee gizmo, it’s all worth considering. Neomania — the obsession with the new — is very real.
Tech for tech’s sake
The availability and wide adoption of something does not automatically make it good for you. In a sense, part of the problem is the human tendency to constantly want more. More shiny new things to make us happier! More this and more that. And, it’s no different with new technology.
What’s different today is that the pace at which new stuff is being created and constantly waved in our faces is increasing. Things that are purported to be good and efficient, but might only be sources of unnecessary problems and complexity in our lives. Complexity that we can do without!
Part of the problem is our obsession with data. If grain was the staple in agricultural times, then data is the staple today. The easy collection and availability of data about almost anything is a key feature of our times. And, data can have a huge impact on our wellbeing both good and bad. It is the later that worries me.
For example, constantly obsessing over and tracking every single thing you do can actually become a source of stress and anxiety. Also, just because we have collected lots of data that does not automatically mean we can necessarily make sense of it all! Though many like to delude themselves that they can.
One of the greatest things about modernity is certainly the amazing tech we have. But, we have to choose wisely and with real care. We have to choose what we need to live well. And, not get pulled by the tide of neomania, such that we end-up drowning in a sea of new, for the sake of new.
It may take determined effort to make sure technology is serving you and not the other way around, but it is fully worth it.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.