Technology, high-tech, high-touch and balance – End of the Day for January 7, 2013

Eotd 001 2014

On the computer and in the garden today. A little high-tech and a little high-touch, which is just the way I like it. Too much of anything tends to bore me, so I always try to mix it up. This is also something I mention to everyone I know.

In a world where many people are quick to demonize technology, I applaud what it allows me to do in my life and career. Like everything in life, though,  it is all about balance. Read a little Facebook, go for a walk. Work through your email, then invite some friends over for dinner. Edit a video, post it to YouTube and then go out and reward yourself with a picnic in the mountains. Balance, balance, balance.

Yet, nearly every day you see some story online or in print about how you are supposed to disconnect from technology, turn it off, get away from it all — or you are risking your life and sanity. I call shenanigans on that. There is no need to disconnect if you are balancing your technology usage with other aspects of your life. I love connecting, sharing and talking with people online as much as I do in person and I get nearly as much reward and pleasure from it. Why would I want to remove myself from something that actually makes me happy and does me good? My online relationships can be as fulfilling as my face-to-face relationships. In fact, in many cases, these online relationships are merely extensions of existing, in-person, relationships. I use technology to stay in touch with people I might only see every few years in person. Should I deny myself that connection, just because I’m not sitting across the dinner table from them? I think that would be both foolish and counterproductive.

Geek at Work! - Photo-A-Day Nov 13, 2006

For many people, though, technology is seen as the enemy, the drug, the evil incarnate. What I see, instead is people who fearful of technology or, even worse, can’t control their own technology consumption. They assume that if fasting is right for them, them it is imperative for everyone. They assume that everyone that uses technology, in any form, is an addled “drug” user, incapable of controlling themselves or making their own decisions. Blah! What it often means is THEY can’t control their technological addictions and assume everyone is just like them. They are out of balance and unable to see that others might be in balance.

To use a personal example, I am fat, so there are times when I think everyone has the same problem I do and my cure is the cure that everyone needs. Then I check myself and remember that my issues and my needs are unique to me. There might be some similarities, but each person must find their own way. Yes, we might all agree that losing weight is about reducing calories and increasing activity, but how we achieve those goals might be entirely different. It is the same with technological “addictions.” We are all different.

Life is all about balance. Too often those around, both personally and in the general public, focus on the extremes — the binary choice between all and nothing, 1 and 0, yes or no — and completely ignore any sense of balance, of harmony, of equilibrium. Don’t listen to them. Everything from our health, to our thoughts, to our happiness to our lives are based on balance. Perhaps it is a balance of chemicals in the body, or a balance of sunlight to dark, or a balance of peace to adversity, or a balance of love to hate. Balance is designed around an analog equilibrium. not a digital switch which is only off or on. Balance is different for all of us and yet balance, for me, is one of the fundamental components of a happy life.

Technology is only one area in life where this occurs. I see many of the troubles of today’s world as being caused by a huge imbalance in our beliefs and actions. We have some to live at the extremes and deny that any sort of middle ground even exists. We see others as either whore or Madonna, paragon or criminal, success or failure, rich or poor, lover or hater, liberal or conservation. Yet we know in our daily lives that there is so much between all of these, if you only take the time to see it. There are so many shades of grey in everything that is human and when we deny this we have the ability to turn mean, vindictive and even evil.  This is what a life lived only at the extremes can yield if we let it. Seek out balance and you will find that there is always a better way.

Previously on End of the Day:

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1 Response to Technology, high-tech, high-touch and balance – End of the Day for January 7, 2013

  1. Pingback: My Word with Douglas E. Welch » The Kids Are Alright! – End of the Day for January 7, 2013

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