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Disrupting the Curse of Technology

Updated on August 4, 2015

Balance in Work and Life

In 1650 Blaise Pascal, a physicist, gave up mathematics to contemplate "the greatness and misery of man".

He said, "Most of the evils of life arise from man's inability to sit still in a room".

Ironically, while many of us are looking to frugal or simple living, we still find ourselves frenetically busy, and find it very hard to sit still.

If Pascal was right, Christopher Richards, from the slightly off the wall, International Institute of Not Doing Much, says that lying in bed doing nothing is then a great virtue.

Our demanding world, ensures we leap, or fall out of bed, to start our day, despite the suggestion by psychologists and family doctors to slow down.

Hands up those who reach for the smartphone and start checking their social media sites before brushing their teeth in the morning.

The attention turns to Facebook, Twitter, WatsApp, Gmail, Linkedin, Pinterest, Foursquared, Tumblr, endless blogging sites and now Instagram, the latest craze for instant sharing of pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

These sites claim our constant attention and demand status updates, sometimes to the detriment of the people with us.


Getting Information off the Internet is Like getting a Drink from a Fire Hydrant - M.Kapor

Technology enables us to get twice as much work done in half the time, but only if it is managed. If not, the lines between social and work interactions blur and meld together as everything drives faster and faster, and we're left to feel emptier and emptier.

The older folk know that the pendulum swings - and the push back is starting. There's a yearning for things to slow down, for life to be simpler, people are reconsidering the work and life balance, partly by taking the flexibility out of work. There's also an upsurge in the calming Meditation, Yoga and Zen type industry.

Working slower may still be associated with failure, inefficiency or laziness. Speed networking, speed information, fast food, speed dating and we are told by the technology manufacturers to "Do more, Faster" The less time we have, the more we try to cram into it. No wonder so many of us feel overrun and lost.

The result of all this speed?

Our goodwill to others suffers,

Attention span decreases,

Patience vanishes if it takes too long,

The mistakes mount as does our stress level.

Time has become a status symbol and working long hours, a membership badge. Studies show that people work the equivalent of two months more than they did two decades ago. Time has become an expensive commodity.

Social Media Frenzy

"I've Ordered another Book because I've Finished the Internet!"
"I've Ordered another Book because I've Finished the Internet!" | Source

Mounting Technological Pressure

Computers continue to get smaller and faster, smartphones more and more innovative and with each new product generation we integrate even more technology into our daily lives.

Trying to keep our heads above water in the technology field is hard work, the minute you've bought it, the next better, faster technological masterpiece is released. We do it because it is so seductive, pervasive and incredibly addictive.

As access becomes easier, we focus on projecting and absorbing more information faster and this is what consumes our time.

Social media sites want to know:

  • who we know,
  • where we are,
  • what we're doing and thinking,
  • our comments on the latest happenings, and
  • what we're seeing.

The followers, heads down, devour the information that is illuminating countless handlheld screens around the world.

Apparently you cannot survive in the modern workspace without being connected on social media, as most social media sites are being used for more than networking, they are being used for work.

25 Future Technologies you may live to see.

How to Work Smarter

Once again we say work smarter, not harder or longer. Limit your media sites, perhaps Facebook for community, Twitter for news and Linkedin for business. Follow up and lower your stress levels by continuing to do the things you do, but do them more slowly.

  • To work smart: Prioritise, organise, think logically. Ask for help if required and delegate if necessary. There should be less stress and better sleep patterns, when there is a feeling of control.
  • Running errands, carry on don't stop, just slow your pace, deep breathe and relax.
  • Lack of human connection makes us prone to catching toxic emotions which undermine work relations and affect our mental and physical health.
  • Over reliance on social media, email, video-links deprive us of real human connectivity, shrink our social skills and impair basic brain-wiring that enables us to connect with each other at a human level.
  • We are wired for physical face time, we need to feel accepted and supported and it is a prime need of a healthy relationship and crucial to our own emotional well-being.

Carefully assess what is really important, which commitments are critical, and cut out the fluff and the inevitable time wasters in your life.

Good concentration and attention is vital to success; you cannot be psychologically healthy glued to a screen all day.

Use the time freed up to just be, sit in a room and do nothing. Let your world come together again, let your brain relax, breathe deeply, as your spirit strengthens.

Alice in Wonderland with the White Rabbit
Alice in Wonderland with the White Rabbit

Frugal with Technology

Will we miss something vital in life if we don't check Facebook or Twitter?

Maybe or maybe not, but does it really matter?

This slowdown movement doesn't represent a lower effectiveness or productivity, it means working and doing things with more attention, greater quality, more productivity and less stress.
It means strengthening family values and leisure time.

Taking what is physically here and now versus the global uncharted and anonymous. The movement toward simplicity will sort out what's important and the slowdown movement will help us achieve it.

Don't be like Alice in Wonderland where the topsy turvy warning was issued

"You have to run as fast as you can to stay where you are".

Too often we deal with the stuff in an inconsistent or arbitrary manner. Think about the basic life questions which are :

  • What kind of person do I want to be?
  • What kind of family life do I want?
  • How do I want to relate to friends?

Once you have the your answer to these questions, your decisions about how and when to use technology and media will make a lot more sense.

10 Future technologies that will change the world


“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.

I would never say the people on it are losers, but that’s only because I’m polite.

Needless to say, we didn’t have Facebook when I was growing up.

We had phonebook, but you wouldn’t waste an afternoon with it.”

– Betty White, American actress - The last of The Golden Girls and at 90, still going strong.

Take a Look at some very worthwhile Hubs

Ammuno's informative hub on tech trends. > > > > >

Nell Rose's excellent hub regarding the speed of our emotional and mental abilities, compared to the speed of today's technological inventions. > > > > >

Sunshine 625 Takes a fun look how words have changed in there meaning to fit in with technology. > > > > >


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    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      janshares, lovely to meet you and glad you stopped. Unfortunately they are a very necessary evil, hopefully the very young will learn balance.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Very cool hub, I can relate. I am only a year into using social media because of my business and hubpages. I used to be very anti- but now see it as a necessary evil. Oh well, we have to make the best of technology. Voted up and awesome. Glad I stopped by.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      grinnin1, I too am very glad you crossed my path. I going over to cross yours LOL. Thanks for visiting.

    • grinnin1 profile image

      grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

      Wow- love the way you think and write. Great hub and I'm going to recommend it. I am fan for your work!! Glad I crossed your path.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Mama Kim 8, Excellent points you make, it is scary watching the teens, absolutely glued to a screen. Thank you for visiting and the votes, I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Very interesting ^_^ For me it all comes down to time management. When my children are awake the computer is off. I don't own and am in no hurry to own a smart phone either. Heck I think I use my phone maybe once a week.

      Teenagers today are encountering countless problems because of technology and it's really sad. Serious health problems because they're getting and making texts every 10 minutes throughout the night. I can't imagine having your head down constantly is good for your neck and back. Social problems because of rumors or secrets going "viral". I could go on...

      Voted up and interesting!

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      unnamedHarald, Great to have your comments again! I have noticed the younger people don't appear to notice the intrusion on their private lives. The older, more established workers pick when they'll allow their private time to be interrupted.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      But bear in mind that most companies are only mouthing the platitudes about balancing work time and family time. You must put your private life ahead of work and bear the consequences.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      Glimmer Twin Fan, Betty White is great isn't she, so dry with that naughty twinkle in her eye! Thanks for visiting.

      MPG Narratives, I am really glad you stopped by and commented. I have just read an article from MIT which states we are less efficient due to not handling technology properly!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I really enjoyed reading this hub cybershelley, and the idea of slowing down sounds great to me. Isn't it interesting that technology was supposed to make our lives easier yet it has just made us more time poor? Great hub, voted up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Well said cybershelley. I especially love the quote from Betty White, even though I am on facebook. :)