Technology has a way of making life work a little better for us, but if we aren’t careful, I find it can also diminish our ability to find better pleasure.
I heard a term years ago by an author who was promoting our need for a better lifestyle. He encouraged his readers to develop “technological boundaries” in order to avoid being seduced into the next best thing that promises less work and more time for you. Just like a fence around the backyard, the boundary is intended to keep the good things in and the bad things out.
A few years back, I came across this idea right about the time our answering machine at home broke. A week went by, then two, then a month and we realized we were not enslaved to that little blinking red light every time we walked in the door, so we just decided to do without it. It made some of our friends very mad at us because it made more work for them to get in touch with us, but we were willing to trade their anger for our peace of mind. It seemed a good trade.
I used to think I needed a Blackberry, but my life is fine without one. I thought about an iPhone, but will it really deliver me what it promises? From the people I know who own them, I know more who want to give them up out of frustration. Am I sure I want that?
It is in this spirit that I wrote the following text and posted it above our kitchen:
We live in a fascinating age of progress and scientific discovery. Technology offers us better and faster ways to communicate and share information with one another all across the planet. Yet with all its advancement, we believe nothing will provide a better channel for meeting our deepest needs of communication like the timeless practice of sharing simple food and drink.
The point? Keep reign over technology and let it serve you, not vice versa. The result will be much more rich and fulfilling than the owning the latest operating system.