We are sold many beliefs when it comes to what technology can do for our lives. While some aspects of this may be true, I started to question the extent of its truth.
No matter what we’re told, there still are no quick or easy fixes to life’s problems. We cannot derive our true meaning, purpose or connections simply by using an app or even creating one. In my upcoming book, Wired Influence, I take you on the journey of how I uncovered the duplicity of technology taking me further away from the things that mattered most.
Technology is not itself inherently good or bad, but the human elements that shape it can take sides. The issue lies in that most of what we’re told to believe can often counter what we’re actually searching for. When we are sold that technology can find us the perfect job, partner, or take us from rags to riches, we often forget the humans involved in these equations.
I left my career pursuits as an academic to pursue building a technology company, Safe & the City. My start-up in a way became an unhealthy obsession, perpetrated by my unchecked relationship with technology. My virtual workplace was always within arm’s reach. I knew the competition and marketplace were equally working just as hard with the same access and constant connection to technologies. I was aware, and reminded often by loved ones, of the many risks to my early pursuits. I staked my bets high on my idea and faith in my ability to make it work. I pushed myself to the edge of exhaustion, stress, and disillusion thinking technology could make me more effective, efficient and productive without realising how far away I had gone.
I had forgotten how to relax, believed taking a break was a sign of weakness and had toxic reinforcements of this message in my equally ambitious social networks. When I exercised, I did so to help me put in longer hours, or be sharper at work. I ate because I had to. I slept out of necessity. Every bit of my day was optimised, from writing drafts of blogs while riding the London Underground and posting them the moment I regained my wifi signal, to eschewing music in favour of a podcast from a business leader about a topic I didn’t know. Technology was always there – keeping me hooked, informed, and in communication at all times, all in service of running my business.
I was sold to believe technology would help me become a better person, build a better business and be able to reach my goals quicker. In reality, I became a worse person relying on shallow social media exchanges to build or maintain meaningful relationships, exhausted by living in a hyperconnected state and the more trying to find more solutions to each problem, the further away from my goals and life purpose. It had to change and that is where I started, each day with a new curiosity about my habits, a sobered understanding of what had happened and a desire to share my story to help others about where to begin.
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