Ideas in blog may be closer to the truth than they appear.
Monday, September 10, 2012
Do you need the latest iPhone? Don't be a fool says Thoreau
“Men have become tools of their tools.” Henry David Thoreau
The iPhone is a great tool. It has brought massive computing power into the palm of our hands in a fairly beautiful and elegant way. Mine is almost always within arms reach. It is the first thing I reach for in the morning and the last thing I put down at night. All throughout the day it keeps me updated on weather, maps and mobile boarding passes when I travel. Camera, pictures, and video. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. Text messaging and emails. And oh yeah, by the way, it also can make PHONE CALLS!
Never in our history have we had so much access to information and 24/7 ability to connect with so many people around the globe. What is the result? We have never been more disconnected. We sit to share a meal with friends or family and we spend most of the time responding to vibrations, honks, rings, and beeps from a small, sleek device in our pocket, purse, or set on the table next to our plate of food. People standing in any line at a public place have their face buried in a tiny screen trying to post to a social media site how standing in line is lame…..or looking to see which friend of theirs from junior high they have not seen or talked to in 30 years “likes” their comment. I am guilty as charged on all fronts!
I am making a public commitment right here to not be the fool with the tool. I will not drive and text. I will not rudely talk on the phone while checking out at the grocery store. I will not let this device rule my life. I will continue to use this tool in moderation in certain settings where it can be most helpful, but I will not let it replace or undermine my connections with the real people standing right in front of me. I do have some very important relationships in my life with people that live hundreds of miles away from me. I will use these tools to maintain and build those relationships with those I love and care about. Facetime is cool, but it is not a substitute for standing face-to-face.
1. Be present with the people in front of you right now.
2. My life is not really any better today than it was 5 or 10 years ago because of the iPhone.
3. Connection in the digital world is no replacement for real, authentic experiences.
4. The iPhone or technology in general is not all bad. Use in moderation without getting sucked into the black hole.
5. Thoreau was right. About almost everything.
I took inspiration for this post from Leo Babuato and his lesser known website. mnmlist.com. Many people know his top-rated site ZenHabits.com. Here is what he had to say about the iPhone and technology in general:
‘Men have become tools of their tools.’ ~Henry David Thoreau
Many of you have seen the video and reviews of the new iPhone 4S, and yes, it looks great.
Don’t rush out to order it. Here’s why: you don’t need it.
True, it is sleek and sexy and full of great features like a great camera and personal assistant and a better screen, etc. But you don’t need it today any more than you needed it yesterday, or 5 years ago.
Yesterday, without the new iPhone, your life was good. Some of you were happy and content and were actually able to do your work and get on with your life without the new iPhone.
Today, Apple announces its newest device, and the press and tech bloggers swoon. We all have to get the latest device, or we’ll no longer be hip, we’ll no longer be part of the “in” crowd.
And yet, is it really that essential? I’ve wanted an iPhone for almost 5 years now, but haven’t bought one because I know I don’t need it. Will it make my life a bit more fun? Sure, possibly — but so will a walk in the park with my kids, or a hike with a friend, or a free book at the library. I don’t need to spend $199 plus thousands of dollars on a 2-year contract to make my life a bit more fun.
Five years ago, the iPhone didn’t exist. It wasn’t a need in your life. You were able to live perfectly without it. And now that it does exist, all of that is true.
It’s Apple’s marketing that has worked on us, and we’re fools for it.
The same, of course, is true of all other technology and sleek consumerist products. It’s just that Apple is better at it than most.
Don’t give in. Fight the marketing, by noticing and letting go of the urges that marketing creates in us. Find contentment without products. You’re better than that.