You see, I was so busy organising my debut 'Blogging- Stories That Sell' workshop that I didn't get to sit down and write a new post here. But here's something I came away with from the workshop...
I spoke about the Principles we live by and how these should form the backbone of our blog posts. Then someone suggested I write a blog about each of my principles that I'd listed. I liked this idea so much that I decided to do just that. So today?
I bring you Life Principle #1:
Newer Aint Better
I wouldn't call myself a technophobe. I don't see modern electronic gadgetry and feel a prickling of my skin and a sense of unease. On the technology bell curve, I put myself towards the back end of the Early Adopters. We've seen so many great inventions in the past century that have made it a dream for somebody like me to get established and engage with a wide audience, without having to pay the gatekeepers of print media, radio or television to achieve this. Often, I'll be working away creating a new post or sending an e-mail or doing research for a project and I'll think how grateful I am to live in an age where the internet means I can do this without needing to walk outside my front door. But here's the thing...
I still don't understand the depth of our society's obsession with having the latest, newest, shiny thing. I don't get the mentality of people taking a day out of their life to camp outside a store in order to be the first person they know to own Apple's latest technological release.
Does it give their life greater meaning? Does their identity live off the developments of a billion-dollar, multinational corporation from Cupertino? Is this what makes them "cool"?
This idea that newest/ most modern= "best" sends people on a dangerous path. It makes them lose their sense of appreciation and gratitude for the abundance they already have. If you're reading this sentence right now and using the internet to do so- congratulations. You have abundance in your life. Now look-there's always room for improvement. I don't think we should still ride everywhere on horseback or use smoke signals for long distance communication. But...
Often an established system or product is in place for a reason. People love to embrace "progress" but don't bother to look beyond "progress" as an end in itself. We build faster cars and then need more stringent crash-testing. We develop more personalised internet accounts and communication devices then have to be more wary of online security. We sugar coat basic, obvious truths in case somebody's feelings get hurt- and then wonder why we're so frustrated in our communication with others. We want all the work done for us and the sweet taste of sugar- then turn around and wonder why we're so lazy, unhealthy and lacking in motivation?
We live in a day and age where we have instant communication with each other, no matter where we are in the world. We have easy access to gratification, all our basic needs met and the ability to source information around the globe from just a small device that fits in our pocket. By all accounts we should truly be living in a golden age of personal contentment and enlightenment.
And yet... it seems we're more disconnected, disillusioned, unsatisfied and misinformed than ever before. We live in an age of material wealth but spiritual poverty. We've become so obsessed with the drive to acquire more financial and material currency that we've ignored our social and spiritual currency. We turn to the personalities on TV for social cues and the advertising efforts of corporations to validate us, instead of relying on our local community, family and friends to meet these needs.
What use is being a Master of Pokemon GO! if we're a slave to our most base desires and impulses?
What use is getting matched on Tinder if we don't know how to approach that person who catches our eye at the bus stop and strike up conversation?
What use is sharing every little detail of where we go, what we eat and how we feel on social media if we don't bother to catch up with our friends on the regular for a barbecue, golf, a picnic, a road-trip or just to sit on the front porch with some drinks and watch the sky change?
In short? While I'm absolutely grateful for this wonderful information age we live in and the freedoms it provides, I refuse to rely on billion dollar, multinational companies or the masses they influence for finding my sense of identity or purpose. That is a journey that we must take for ourselves, listening to our most trusted people for advice along the way. That is how we find real "progress"...