WAITING, LOOKING AND UPGRADING
Has it ever occurred to you how much time we spend involuntarily waiting and looking for things?
Waiting for technology to upload, to turn off, to turn on, to reboot, to disconnect, to reconnect? Has it ever occurred how much of our daily clock we spend being asked to upgrade our multitude of electronics- ipads, iphones, laptops, computers, televisions, sonos all in the name of saving time and efficiency? I usually decline all upgrade requests because I am usually doing something like opening my business or starting my day and don’t have the time scheduled to add the time it takes to do this. Frankly once I select the upgrade now choice, I have no idea how much time it is going to take because it usually doesn’t tell you and I find myself stuck in the vortex of the time sucking machine we now call necessary technology.
I turned on the news the other morning and Sling tv needed to upgrade. My partner took the bait and selected upgrade, after about fifteen minutes of precious morning time we couldn’t get on to Sling Tv, hence no morning news.
Ok, so let’s listen to music instead, I turn on Sonos through the app on my Iphone, upgrade again, again a long wait, then the fateful request to re- enter my password. A password I don’t of course remember so I have to go to my files and find it praying that I actually wrote it down somewhere three years ago when I set it up. We always write them down, right?
I just changed my phone to a new phone because I guess the one I bought last year was not sufficient enough and all of my stuff transferred over ‘seamlessly’… well kind of, none of my passwords to my hundreds of apps transferred. The “simple” transfer the twenty something tattoo ladened way too much cologne kid at the ATT store assured me it would be an easy and efficient shift. It has been two weeks and I still haven’t re entered my passwords because frankly I don’t want three quarters of the crap on my phone anyway. I decided to stop doing email on my phone, to stop checking facebook, yelp, instagram, twitter from the convenience of my phone. But wait! I own a business! How can I do that?!! My colleagues, my friends scream out in dismay! Why have I allowed technology to control my lifestyle. My mantra in this quest for more regular joy is, “Will it make me happier? Does it make me happy now?” I would say no. I would say it doesn’t make my life more efficient either. It costs more of my time which seems to be getting shorter every year. It costs my precious energy field because I usually don’t feel energized after scrolling facebook or instagram. Is it a necessary evil? I am not so sure. I know that when events get posted on Facebook and I don’t go on there, there is a chance that I am not going to be in the know. Will this affect my social life, my social standing? Doubtful. Will it harm my business? Word’s out on that. We post constantly, I am not sure if this equals more business or simply more knowledge about my business. There is a distinct difference of someone knowing about my business and someone actually walking in the door because of social media.
Technology is a useful tool, but so are gardening tools. Gardening tools aren’t used every waking hour. Gardening tools are used for a specific amount of time, tilling time, prepping time, digging and planting time. When the work is done, those tools go back in the shed put away neatly until the next time. The spade and the shovel isn’t on my hip every waking moment and guess what, the garden still grows and it is still beautiful. All of these passwords, all of this stuff we are putting into our phones to simplify actually make us more reliant ultimately, right? How much time do you spend looking for your phone? About as much time as I spend looking for my glasses and my car keys, for sure. The panicked sound of “Have you seen my phone?” has become an almost daily mantra as I am fully aware that if I just put it down in the same place every time, this would be a mute point, but alas, if it were that simple, well I would just do it.
All of this technology has made me a bit scattered and fragmented over time. It has taken me from my garden, my walks, my meditations because ultimately it requires chunks of attention from my already chock filled day. Are we connecting more because of it? I don’t think we are. I think we are actually becoming more isolated because we are under the illusion we are connecting. When we put something on Facebook are we assuming that our circle of peers are all in the know? If we miss something on Facebook, do we know we missed it if we never knew it was there in the first place? Does it make a difference in our already over scheduled lives? There is that old saying, When a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? I don’t know the answer, but at this point, I vote for the visit to the woods to see the trees. If I am going to me the odd woman out, I’d rather be alone in the woods to gather my thoughts and feel the pulse of nature.
Time is short. Today is a beautiful day. I am going to try for an early morning walk in the garden, a short bike ride to breathe in some of that fresh air we have all been pining for and try to live in the outside world a little more. I am a realist to know well enough that technology is here to stay, I am not going to go off the grid anytime soon, but this latest chance to not add my passwords to my apps has in many ways freed me from the incessant amount of time I didn’t realize how much of it I was spending on things that don’t really nourish my soul. I want to live my life with a more nourished soul. It makes me way happier and healthier for sure. And happier and healthier are two obsessions I have a deep need for. Don’t we all?