• Patrick McAndrew

Do People Want To Change?

The digital wellness space has exploded over the past year or so.  There are now many organizations, like The Low Tech Trek, trying to tackle this tech issue from many different angles.  Some are working as researchers, investigating how technology is altering our brains, bodies, and overall well-being.  Others are tech designers, work towards creating new apps and other technologies that will not steal away our attention for extended periods of time.  Then there are coaches and speakers, like myself, who are talking with individuals and organizations about the effect technology is having and offering possible solutions.

It’s safe to say that those looking for more mindfulness, deeper relationships, and a connection with the outer world, have a lot of resources available.  While this industry is still relatively new, there has been an increase in resources available for those who are looking to change their digital habits.  But is that most people?

Working in this business, I do wonder if the change will be small and incremental, or if there will be no change at all.  Technology is becoming more and more ingrained into our daily lives, it is advancing at astronomical rates, and, so long as it continues to offer us convenience and a vice from boredom, we are willing to bow down to the almighty technology.  So how can we encourage people to spend less time on technology and more time with their families or in nature, while technology continues to weave its way into the societal fabric of our lives?

These are, indeed, tricky questions, especially from the viewpoint of a practitioner.  I know as I look around me, people don’t seem all that interested in changing.  People think the idea of The Low Tech Trek is neat, but they are still more interested in what’s on their phones.  I’ve been fortunate enough to meet amazing people, both who work in the digital wellness space and those who I have worked with as clients, who are very passionate about making a change.  But the general population? Not so much.

Technology, and especially with the advent of smartphones, has provided us with a wealth of convenience.  Even though we can preach about the negatives that technology presents, at the end of the day, people find the positives more captivating.  Smartphones won’t be around forever; eventually a newer technology will replace it and this technology will likely be even more ingrained into our lives, potentially even physically ingrained into our bodies.  And, for most people, the positives will likely outweigh the negatives.

While we can offer advice and warn about the dangers of a highly tech-dependent society, it is up to the individual to change their habits.  We can help and assist them in changing their habits, but they must be the ones to make the decision. I am happy to see small groups of individuals here and there who are ready to make the change in order to improve their lives, but the general population isn’t quite there yet.  While I believe (or rather hope) that our world will wake up from its technological slumber, there is still a long way to go and people must want to alter their habits.  That’s the biggest thing.  At this point, I am left wondering, “Do people want to change?”

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