Technology, in of itself, isn’t a bad thing. In some cases, technology has brought us together in ways that were previously unavailable. I love seeing updates from my friends who live across the country, and social media has introduced me to some wonderful ideas. But, technology definitely has some drawbacks as well.
My future husband and I were at a Cake concert a few years ago, and the famously prickly lead singer started getting annoyed by a fan who kept taking pictures. He singled her out and told her to “stop being in acquisition mode.” Many of you may have observed others–tourists or teens seem particularly prone–frantically snapping selfies they can post to their social media accounts—acquiring. That phrase captured the challenges of our attempts to document our experiences—we are often so busy “acquiring” that we forget to actually enjoy the moment. By acquiring and documenting our experiences, we lose out on experiencing the moment in real time.
Every video I’ve taken of my toddler over the last few months ends with her noticing the camera and waving me off—“no pictures, mommy”—and an abrupt end to the video as I capture the back of her hand. I’m so frantic to capture these fleeting moments permanently, but I worry that I’m missing out on experiencing the joy in the moment.
Similarly, I can easily get sucked into the pretty pictures and projects on Instagram and Pinterest. I’ll look for a quick art project or recipe and find that time just seemed to evaporate while I was online. I get caught up in consuming the content on social media that I neglect to get my own ideas into the world—consuming information starts to trump creating new work of my own.
You may not need a full digital detox, but many of us could make some smart changes in how and why we use technology. Over the next few posts, we’ll give you some suggestions for using technology more intentionally so you can focus on experiencing versus acquiring, and creating vs consuming.