We are all becoming more and more aware of the fact, that nowadays, computers, cell phones, tablets are becoming the centre of our lives. Recently I read an article which was a great initiative against this new reality. Namely the article was about a law that France started implementing from this year, that will allow the employees to choose whether they want to check their work emails or check anything related with work on their cellphones past 13:00. The law also allowed the employees that on weekends they don’t have to check anything related with work, and get the necessary break. And furthermore, on vacations they also don’t have to check or manage anything work related. What was the reason behind implementing a law like this? Because a research showed that using cellphones most of the time lowers your productivity, using it when you are home for work, can cause problems in the relationship and with that cause stress.
Now, personally, this is a big step towards forming that balance that in my opinion is hugely lacking. Each day as I am walking somewhere I can see people bury their faces in their screens. Subways, work environment, restaurants, bars, waiting rooms, home, football stadiums etc. Fans of their favourite team are not following their team, but instead they are doing vlogs, watching the game through their little screen, and check their phones constantly instead of enjoying whatever they are watching. I can’t help but notice that and I can’t help but not being highly irritated. One may say, well it’s their lives and they can do whatever they want with them. But as many know, it’s not remotely simple. Our lives are connected, we can’t isolate ourselves. Even the perfect introvert is influenced somehow by the people around him, by the internet or in some other way.
As an optimist, and a perfectionist, I want a balance, I want to create that, and I can sense that there is a great imbalance nowadays. And I believe that a huge contributor to that imbalance are the machines, and most importantly cell phones. I went to the store several days ago, and as per habit I didn’t bring my cellphone with me. I knew that in the scope of 20-30 minutes, nothing important will change, a message that I might get will be delivered regardless whether I am there or not thanks to my home router. As I entered the store, I noticed a couple checking a list on their cellphone about what to buy. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that. It’s just a utility that makes our lives more efficient. It saves us time. But in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t that add to that addiction? Isn’t that adding to the attachment to our cellphones and technology? Wouldn’t it be better if that couple discussed and had fun choosing things in the store, without having to follow the list. Yes they might have missed couple of items, but I don’t think that is so problematic.
In my opinion we are thinking less and less. And I am writing this hoping I won’t offend anyone, because that is not my intention. We are becoming too reliant on technology. And as most of us know, the Internet was created for a different purpose. It was created because the US Army needed a system with which they can communicate and send files more easily. The cellphones in the 90’s were created for their primary and for me necessary role, and that is to be able to talk with someone. Today, we are all witnesses that that is changing more and more rapidly. And we are becoming more and more attached.
How to balance things out? By going out. Randomly. Right now. By doing something that is not related to the online world. By painting something in the first given moment. By enhancing our creativity. By opening our minds to something new, something out of the everyday routine. By listening to a song that normally we wouldn’t listen. By seeing things around us, like a person with his backpack open walking on the street, and instead of staring at our facebook page at that moment, actually telling him that his backpack is open and helping him. By sitting on the front of some historic monument or a field, and just let our mind be free and remember that precious moment, that will create a memory, a beautiful one which we will remember for the rest of our lives, instead of taking a selfie that we can’t wait to upload so that the others can see it. In that moment it’s not about the others, it’s about us, it’s about our memories, and our adventures, and if the others want to experience it, they can either come with us and enjoy it, or they can wait for the story, because a story is worth more than 1000 pictures.