Anthony Szczepkowski profile image Anthony Szczepkowski

The Technological Fantasy

The phrase "Tech has changed vastly in the last 30 years" is a bit of an understatement. We now have A.I. capable of doing many things such as art or video creation. We have pocket computers that have access to more knowledge than all of human history

The Technological Fantasy
Photo by Caspian Dahlström / Unsplash

The phrase "Tech has changed vastly in the last 30 years" is a bit of an understatement. We now have A.I. capable of doing many things such as art or video creation. We have pocket computers that have access to more knowledge than all of human history combined.

We even have rockets that can land after being launched. Way to go Elon.

But what else has been introduced further into our time?

Social media, video games, excessive television, pornography, endless amounts of entertainment, and technological fulfillment. Or so many think.

The unfortunate side effect of our genius is we lack the current discipline to use this new technology wisely. Our minds charge forward while our hearts are left behind.

Reality is now an escape from our digital fantasy. Now, here is the moral grey area, technology is not the problem, our use of it is.

The New Oil

The richest men of the last century were the oil tycoons. The men were in search of newfound power through energy.

The oil of the 21st century is our Attention. The biggest companies today, are Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Tik Tok. They thrive on the attention you give. It is like oxygen to them.

That's not to say they are inherently evil, but rather the responsibility is up to us, the users to do what is right. As the companies are made either way, there is not much we can change there, but we do control where and whom we give our attention.

Our attention and where we invest it is up to us, and consequently, the results of our investment are in our control.

Our engagement is what the tech creators seek. And I think that is perfectly fine, as they created something that they think is worth our time.

But let me ask you this, when is the last time you went on a long binge session of content that you enjoyed 10/10? Not 7/10 or meh/10, but 10/10?

I asked myself the same question over and over again and kept coming to the same conclusion. I am watching WAYYY too much content.

So I stopped watching anything for a few days, and I actually felt some low levels of withdrawal symptoms. And before you go, "Well Anthony, you must be doing in excess not moderation". Well, hypothetical man, I was watching about 4-6 hours a day which is still quite a bit, but the average amount according to Zippia was that "the average American spends 7 hours and 4 minutes staring at a screen per day".

By average comparison, I was under the normal amount, which I still think is ludicrous. I cut back to ZERO hours for about 5 days and found a new sense of energy and time management that I had not felt in many years.

Now this is most likely for many NOT a long-term solution. I would be hypocritical to say technology itself is the problem, as I am writing this article through a computer, but I do think most of us need to cut back significantly on our digital technology usage.

I cut mine back to under 2 hours a day of personal use. I don't count work or school as obviously, it would not make sense to do so.

But this requires one to be absolutely honest with oneself about where your time goes.

Where Our Time Goes

When was the last time you checked your phone? Be honest. When was the last time you checked your total screen time for the day or week?

Many people my age (around 20 years old) keep saying the same thing, "I would do this, but I just don't have enough time" or "I'm so busy". When in reality many live on their digital technology all day.

Technology is a wonderful tool as it makes life much simpler, but it can lead to excess comfort.

Comfort is great, but I find the best way to fully enjoy comfort is AFTER, not before the work is done for the day. Take breaks when necessary of course, but as humans in Western society, we allow this exception to excuse our indulgence in comfort like there is no tomorrow.

Ironically us sacrificing our work for comfort only builds a life that makes the comfort feels undeserved and almost gross. That sacrifice for the now actively makes the "later" part that much more difficult.

People Don't Live In Reality Anymore

It's just a fantasy. Most days people spend much of their time indulging effortlessly into "low-quality leisure" as Cal Newport puts it, which in turn fantasy is now our reality and reality is an escape from fantasy.

Now, life is not all of a sudden a gloomy world. There are always conflicts to be had in every single person's lifetime, our struggle as Tyler Durden puts it is "a spiritual war".

Trying to actively live beyond the current screen narrative is perhaps one of the most contrarian things to do.

If you take anything from this article let it be this: be honest and aware of your screen time, because as much as it comforts, that comfort can take away the joys of life very subtlety if we are not careful.

It's not just what the technology is, or what it does. It is how we use it that's important.

Best of luck.

Anthony Szczepkowski profile image Anthony Szczepkowski