Part II: Chapter 9- Inventing Your Life: Ben Franklin on Positive Rituals
Can people ever set aside a technology-free day?
The realistic answer is no because we are addicted to our devices just as smokers are addicted to nicotine. William Powers states, “More broadly, this is how workers live now, at the office and everywhere else- always connected. And once in screen mode, it’s very hard to get out. It’s digital inertia that’s responsible, at least in part, for the perpetual haze- and the poor work habits- employers are battling.” I thought the idea of digital inertia was especially captivating because it seems like people are only getting more dependent on technology with each day and there aren’t many options to turn back.
Have we created a new human species?
William Powers writes about how our new species would be called Homo distractus. People may hear that and laugh about it but I personally think there is a lot of scary truth behind this statement. Students, workers and people on the streets are so distracted by their devices and it seems like some people have lost their humanness and are much more robotic. They have moved their sociability online and that drastically changes how people interact. Without distractions, people can gain new interests and have time to pursue them.
“In the eighteenth century, people and their ideas moved through time and space largely by well established means: on foot, on horseback, in carriages and ships; via messages and mail services; and through print media, including newspapers, pamphlets, and books.”
Benjamin Franklin was constantly trying to connect the world more to spread his ideas and make the world a more productive place. He was all for change and believed that people had to strive for progress. He emphasized that it was very important to see many different perspectives and allow for positive rituals.
Give me the crowd any day. –Benjamin Franklin