Finished this book in about a week’s time and with no surprise, was super motivated by the content to participate in a digital reset. Do I think some information was redundant? Yes. Was the content always the most inspiring? No, but everyone’s relationship with technology is different. I’m glad I stuck it out until the end because it did inspire me to share specific suggestions with Taylor, who is not participating in the digital reset but has agreed not to stream/watch content for the month of November in solidarity of wanting to cross things off of his ever growing to-do list.
The best analogy I have for what kind of situation society finds itself in today in regards to technology refers back to what I learned in Financial Peace University. Businesses are marketing to you solely for your money – those catchy jingles, those heart-wrenching commercials, sales around holidays, the annual tradition of wearing matching pajamas for Christmas – all to get you to buy buy buy. The whole matching pajamas thing got me by the way. The same with credit card companies. They offer you incentives – flying mileage, cash back – with the hope that you spend with one of their cards and not being able to afford to pay it back at the end of the month. If you have a credit card and you don’t pay it off at the end of the month, you are literally overpaying for items, yes, even those items you shopped around and found the best deals. Can you tell I no longer use credit cards and am disgusted by the majority of tactics businesses use to get us to buy? I’m thankful I don’t have a television for the single reason of avoiding commercials.
Well, social media literally only exists to make money. The longer you spend on Facebook for example, the more money they are making in ads – even more if you actually make a purchase. That’s it. They literally don’t care who you’re “staying connected” with – they just want you to stay connected to your device. And society is surely attached to their devices.
Just take a look around you – in the car, drivers and their passengers are always on their phone.
Standing in a line, everyone is on their phone.
Major news event happening? Everyone is on their phones looking for the breaking updates, instead of waiting for more accurate information when the reporters have more time to gather and digest the facts.
Holiday or simple family gathering? I bet you everyone will check their phones at least once, despite having those closest to them in the same room. What is more important than spending time with your friend or family? Email can wait, sports scores can wait, texts can surely wait (that is unless you’re waiting for an important update with 10/10 is NOT the case). Everyone is so used to being connected 100% of the time and reachable all of the time, there’s this pressure with texts that one must read and respond rather quickly and feel guilty if otherwise. I felt that guilt as a new mom for a long time, using B as an excuse. Looking back, yes, my life got turned upside down having a child but no, I shouldn’t have felt guilt for soaking up that time with him and not my cell phone.
Another quote I’ll paraphrase from the book that really resonated with me goes along the lines of “successful people aren’t wasting their time on social media.” They have really busy schedules and really important decisions to make and I can guarantee you they aren’t on Facebook getting sucked into fake memes about either political party or see what costume Karen’s kid is wearing this year for Halloween as a mode of relaxation. While I may not have a six-figure salary that accompanies a highly stressful job that many associate with being “successful,” I do consider myself to be successful – mostly because I have aligned myself with an organization that is doing good for our community and respects my work/life balance. This book, most specifically this quote, as made me re-evaluate my work/life balance; have I been clutching my phone as an excuse, especially these last two years?
This book is NOT anti-technology, just in case that’s the impression I’m giving you. It’s pro-technology… but only as it’s needed. It’s pretty awesome that our phones have the capabilities that they have but I agree that just because the phone has that option, doesn’t mean we should use it or have access to it all, all of the time. I’ll be sharing more during my weekly recaps throughout the digital reset, but for now I’ll leave you saying: please read this book.