Technology and Minimalism
Love it or hate it, technology is an intergal part of the way our world goes round. Most of us have no shortage of technology exposure. The average american is exposed to about 5,000 ads her day. The average american spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook, 5 hours a day watching TV, and 20 hours a week online in general. Although it's tough to escape technology (I got lost on a regular basis without navigation and I never carry cash) how much it too much? What tools actually add value to our lives?
As usual we get to decide.
But have we really thought about it? How intentional are we when it comes to technology consumption? Why does it even matter for a minimalist or an aspiring minimalist because after all, most technology takes up little or no space?
Although minimalism is typically associated with minimal physical possessions, I think the way we consume technology is a fascinating and important topic because it gets to the heart of WHY we choose minimalism in the first place. For me, minimalism is not about living with as little as possible, it's about identifying what matters most to you and removing everything else that is in the way.
After I reduced my wardrobe by 75% and said goodbye to about 50% of our household possessions, I came to a point in my life where I wanted to apply the same concepts of consumption and reduction that I did to my physical possessions to the technology that I use as well. This is no easy task; technology is easily hidden, highly addictive, and everywhere you turn. But the more in touch with my values I became, the more time I wanted to spend on the things and the people that truly mattered in my life. As I mentioned before, technology is accountable for a massive portion of the way we spend our time, so it made sense for me to trim the fat so I could live the life I wanted.
I'm not here to shame you. I'm not here to say that technology is a terrible thing and is ruining our lives and the lives of our children. It's not and, in fact, technology can be an amazing thing! But I am here to encourage you to think about some tough questions that may lead to some hard work, but that may ultimately lead towards more lasting joy.
What are my values?
How much time am I spending on technology? (check out Checky and Moment if you really want to know the details).
What am I not spending time on that I would like to be spending time on?
What do I need technology for?
What technology could I remove completely?
What technology could I reduce?
Do I need to go on an internet or social media fast?
What systems and/or habits could I put in place to minimize my use of technology?
Does any of this hit a nerve with you? Do you struggle with technology consumption and excess? If so I hope you'll listen to our upcoming podcast series on technology. It's such a wide ranging topic with many subsets, so we've decided to tackle it in about 4 parts and we're starting with Digital Excess this Thursday. So tune in and let us know what you think! Wishing you peace, wonder, and joy.....and the freedom that comes with less.