Switching to a balanced relationship with technology

Christmas is a time for connection. But have you noticed that “being connected” has been repackaged and presented to us as meaning “sort-of connected, to everyone and everything, all the time”? This video illustrates how always connected means never connected.

Maybe, as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, it’s time to take stock of what technology is doing for us, and also what it is doing to us. Is all that convenience is making it harder to get what we really want and need?

This year, rather than contributing to the seasonal spike in Internet usage, perhaps build some genuine connection into your gift-buying plans? Unplug and play?

 

Finding a balance

Punkt. was launched in 2008. In 2010 we launched our first product, a landline telephone. People thought we were mad.

Scroll forward a decade and – with 10% of the UK on antidepressants – people are starting to take a long hard look at the way we live; in particular, whether the “always on” lifestyle, the avalanche of convenience, really serves us as human beings. In particular, there has been a surge of interest in the subject from people in their twenties who are challenging the dehumanising system they have been born into.

It’s not too late to get the upgrade: it is still totally possible to function in modern society without an omnidevice welded to your soul. But it does take a bit of planning, in order to be able to step off the conveyor belt.

 

Easy first steps

  • No computers (including smartphones) in the bedroom; get an alarm clock.
  • Build the concept of the “digital sundown” into your life: put the gadgets away an hour or two before bedtime.
  • If you use social media, start reining it in:
    • restrict times you access it
    • delete social media apps from your smartphone, if you have one
    • tighten privacy settings
    • start purging your list of contacts/’friends’
  • Phone calls are often much more efficient than text exchanges. Maybe start experimenting with a few people in your life, using phone calls alongside text-based conversations, e.g. for arranging times to meet.
  • Keep informing yourself about technology. The Punkt. Library is a good place to start, even if you just read through the publishers’ summaries.
  • Ask yourself whether technology is filling some kind of hole in your life, that could be addressed more effectively in other ways.
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