• Patrick McAndrew

Why We Shouldn’t Be Anti-Tech

We have a great community of followers here on The Low Tech Trek.  Readers like to be engaged and I am always happy to receive emails from you all who are looking to share their voice either with myself personally or as a guest writer on this platform.  Every once and a blue moon, however, I will get a little bit of backlash.  Nothing overly aggressive, but I’ve had more than one person comment, “I know you’re all Low-Tech and what not, but come on!” Or something along those lines.

I believe it’s important to clarify that The Low Tech Trek is all about cultivating more genuine human relationships and freeing up our time for more meaningful tasks instead of throwing away our time to unproductive tech use.  It’s much more about the time spent when not on a screen instead of powering up the old Macintosh and using some good old Windows 95.  It’s about being more intentional with our time, not about diverting back to cassette tapes and Morse code.

We shouldn’t aim to be anti-technology.  This isn’t what The Low Tech Trek is about.  We can have new tech and still strive for low tech practices.  The Low Tech Trek is simply about moderating the time we are using technology.  We should strive for lowering our tech time so as to make our hours more meaningful and productive.

This has been a distinction that I’ve had to figure out along the way.  Technology is continuing to advance and it won’t stop.  It’s like a runaway train.  This said, I am greatful for the conveniences that technology has allowed us.  My aim is to not become reliant on technology as the ultimate means for my comfort, security, and well-being.  If we rely on external sources to fuel our fulfillment and happiness, it will be a recipe for disaster.

We want to be able to use technology as a tool.  We want to use it to make our lives more convenient, efficient, and comfortable.  We can use it for education, entertainment, and as a means to connect with people from all over the world.  These are all good things and should be exercised.  We should absolutely use technology as leverage for achieving the goals we want to achieve.

What we need to clock is when we say things like, “I can’t live without my phone!”  or when we notice our increased anxiety when we don’t have our phone with us.  What we need to be careful of is how much of ourselves and our lives we place into our phones.  For many of us, our phones have become extensions of ourselves, and I don’t believe this is the healthiest route to go.  Yes, we should utilize all of the great qualities that come with having a smartphone and the latest nifty devices.  But when we aren’t able to function unless our phones are within arms reach of us, then it’s time to do some serious soul-searching.

Our different technologies are the storehouse for all of our information, whether it be professional or personal.  This isn’t a bad thing, so long as most of that information is on a computer.  For the most part, computers stay put.  Sure, we can take our laptop with us from time to time, but we usual make an intentional choice to sit down for awhile and work on our laptops.  Our phones, on the other hand, are a different story.  We carry these things with us and, because of this, our lives are constantly interrupted by the needs on our phones.  This is where things get dicey.  I truly believe smartphones can be great tools, so long as we are in control with how we are using them.

We shouldn’t be anti-technology.  In many ways, it’s great that technology is advancing.  We are living at an exciting time!  But remember that we should always be the master of our tools instead of becoming the tool of masters.  Be aware, be intentional, and be willing to separate yourself from your phone from time to time.  After all, it is just a thing.

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