We are surrounded by it. We rely on it. More and more of our world – professional and personal – is built on it. When we lose it, or it malfunctions, we think everything comes to a standstill. Yet, we don’t need to be as digitally dependent as we are.
In fact, our lives and relationships would likely be better with less technology and time online. When historians, psychologists and anthropologists look back in 100 years, will they find that our current technological habits strengthened or weakened the human race?
We don’t have to wait until then to at least know this: technology is a means, not an end. It should enhance your life, not supplant it. No matter how fast the speed, diverse the options, or dynamic the presentation, an online experience cannot replace the offline equivalent. The warmth of a fire, smell of mountain air, rejuvenation of a run, energy of a coffee house, feel of the surf, bustle of a city street, boom of a concert venue, sight of a grand landscape, and most importantly, the in-person connection with others, cannot be forged.
It certainly has its benefits, but if we’re not careful, technology will lull us into a faster but less substantial life, making us lazy, less adventurous and inarticulate. The pressure to always be “on” and immediately responsive robs us of rest and reflection. Perhaps worst of all, its abuse diminishes our ability to be truly present and deeply connected to those around us.
We fully understand this tension to find a balance. Bearings is an online publication and we celebrate the convenience, affordability and accessibility that a digital platform affords. Yet, ultimately, our goal is to get you engaged in the offline world – to learn just enough here to compel you to enrich your experiences out there.
Where it can streamline inefficiencies, or quicken our journey to the substantive, it serves us well. However, when it eliminates a worthy challenge or becomes a means of avoidance, it fails us as men. Hard conversations are meant to be had face-to-face; well-developed thoughts do not typically fit within 140 characters; meaningful friendships aren’t formed by simply knowing timelines and constant location or status updates.
We’ve all heard the stories and stats about the adverse effects of its overuse; yet, are we instituting discipline and intentionality in this area of our lives? Let’s keep from getting swept down the cultural stream of online addiction with its frenetic pace and loss of basic decorum. Let’s ask ourselves: Are we managing our technology or is it managing us?