• Patrick McAndrew

The Turning Point of IRL by Alfredo Pupillo

The Low Tech Trek is happy to host another guest writer, Alfredo Pupillo!  Alfredo is the owner of HR Business, a consulting organization with a wide variety of service offerings, including humane tech.  Below, he discusses two very different weekends he experienced and the changes he implemented to make one more enjoyable than the other.

Yesterday was a great day; it was simple.  I went to the club and spent a sunny day with my wife where we chatted for a lot of the day.  Afterwards, I met up with some friends and then had a meeting with the board of the institution – at the park – to plan new projects for our club.

You may question, “What is the extraordinary event to affirm that I had a great day yesterday?”

The weekend before, I also went to the club.  I put my chair in the grass, my wife sitting beside me, my friends there, and my smartphone sat firmly in my hand the whole day.  My wife and I didn’t talk to each other because I had more than one hundred messages to reply to.

I went back home with my brain tired and my emotions stirred up.  I was worried about the confusing communication I had with several contacts while, at the same time, being emotionally far from my wife. I was endlessly checking my smartphone, looking for the approval of my last sent messages.  That night, with my smartphone near my bed, I didn`t sleep well.

What happened between one weekend and the other?  I finally decided to put my life in order, to put into practice what I am advising other people to do.  I realized that I was close to addiction, if not actually being addicted.

There were clear indicators:

  • Anxiety

  • Increased stress

  • The fear of missing out

  • 24/7 invasion of my personal life

  • Unpredictable emotions

  • Feeling distant from family and friends

  • Less productivity

  • Unfocused

  • Without innovation

And surely this list could be much longer and refined.

For several months I was in this situation.  Over the last week, I arrived at a clear consciousness regarding what I had to do to fix this.   What did I do yesterday?

  • Selected and reduced the number of my WhatsApp groups

  • Didn’t debate political or personal matters online

  • Silenced social notifications

  • Re-connected with my deep emotions

  • Re-connected with my loved ones

  • Re-connected with the fresh air, the brilliant sun, and the beautiful green grass

  • Enjoyed face to face interaction with my friends at the club

  • Imagined new projects to improve our club

And what about my feelings at the end of the day?

  • Peaceful

  • Renewed, physically and emotionally

  • Improved wellbeing

  • Motivated to begin the week

Today I woke up earlier than usual to share these words with you.  This is only a fraction of my experience.  I was reading about other experiences, here on The Low Tech Trek, and thinking about these issues.  What is the healthy balance between IRL (in real life) and online life?  Is there a healthier frontier? And, if so, where is it?

There is no doubt this is a new situation we are dealing with in the history of communication and it requires in-depth analysis and orientation in our daily lives.   We must take control of the situation and take control of our time and our life.  We must not be controlled by our devices.

We are learning, and that`s good!  Technology is a great thing, an extraordinary tool, but it`s a tool.  A tool needs to be used; a tool shouldn’t use us.

Alfredo Pupillo

Alfredo Pupillo has been working as a consultant since 2003. He has developed many processes for organizational cultural change, both structural and strategic, focusing on people becoming the protagonists of their own development.  He has also designed the recruitment process for several organizations and is a specialist in hiring.  Pupillo is the owner of HR Business, a consulting organization which offers services in process consulting, talent management, structural design, human sustainability, and, more recently, humane tech.  He holds a graduate degree in Human Resources from the University of Salvador.

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