Mixed Blessings

I’m a nerd.  If you’ve been reading this space for a while you may have already guessed it.

Up until this year I was a technology nerd of the first order.  The sun rose and set on the latest gadgets and rumours of gadgets.  I frequented the Engadgets, Gizmodos, and AppleInsiders of the world more than once a day.  In a lot of ways my nerddom extended into  a more pervasive addiction that I still struggle with.

My name is Erin and I want a MacBook Air.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love talking tech with people and appreciate a nice gadget in the same way my father used to appreciate British sports cars.  What has changed though is my . . . perspective . . . I used to look at technology as the thing that would save me, that would inject meaning into my life.  It may be the thing you cling to.  There may be something else.  I stepped back this year and realized that clinging to something impermanent was not the way to happiness.  Part of that came from simplifying my life, part of it came from stepping back and examining myself.  I’ve spoken about the shift I’ve experienced in my life this year in earlier posts.

What I eventually came to realize about modern technology was that it was a mixed blessing.  We are sitting at the pinnacle of Human technological progress.  We have the power of a global computer network in the palm of our hands.  While this enables us to meet people across the globe and share their lives, it also disconnects us from those closest to us.  How many of us share an evening with our iPhones instead of playing with our kids?  How many of us huddle by the warmth of a monitor and play FarmVille instead of huddling in the warmth of our family?  How many of us Tweet with people across the world but never call our parents?

I’m not proposing we all go Luddite, I love my iPhone.  What I am proposing though is perhaps we need to pull back from our fascination, our obsession, with technology.  It should be our tool, not our master.  It’s like constantly consulting your hammer to find out the best time to build your house.  The hammer is there to serve your purpose in your time, no to dictate terms to you.

So what does this all have to do with living a Paleo or Primal life?  I believe that striving to live such a life also calls us to live a simpler one.  One with less complication and more interaction.  The tribe was Grok’s life and it should be ours as well.  We may not go out and pick berries with the tribe or hunt for our supper but the times we do have together should be cherished and used without interjecting disruptions in them.  It’s all part of the path in my mind, another part of the whole.

What do you think?  Is technology a mixed blessing in your life?  We’d love to hear what you think.  Leave us a comment.


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