Unplugging from technology
Come to think of it — wouldn’t that be a leap of modern selfishness?
Recently, while loitering around LinkedIn in search for new job opportunities — things you do on an ordinary Tuesday night — I came across a post written by the Founder and CEO of a well-known company who shall remain nameless.
The topic of it revolved around the importance of unplugging from technology, in order to foster the relationship with the inner self. When I stumble on to it, the post had received 3,657 likes and hundreds of comments in agreement — which, for a social media platform like LinkedIn is a big deal.
In no more than 100 words, it focused on how hard it became for us to do without devices in the everyday life, and how “unplugging and recharging is essential if you’re truly going to ‘Know Thyself’.” A subject that is becoming increasingly present and popular in the technology debate.
As it often happens in the social media context: the topic was of too great significance, the analysis too hasty.
Of course, it is true and undeniable that devices have become ineluctably extensions of our bodies. But what if we consider that being plugged in today means first of all being reachable?
Then, wouldn’t that be interesting to analyse the phenomenon through the lens of a certain social responsibility and, consequently, to consider the idea of unplugging as an act of selfishness?
Technology is ultimately a tool that takes many different forms and utilizations. What we must bear in mind is that every tool — to misquote the French urbanist and philosopher Paul Virilio — implies its possible failure.
To invent the sailing ship or steamer is to invent the shipwreck. To invent the train is to invent the rail accident of derailment. To invent the family automobile is to produce the pile-up on the highway. (Paul Virilio, The Original Accident, 2005)
In the light of this, the solution is not to look the other way just for a little while, I believe, but to learn how to integrate these tools in the everyday life and in a way that is productive and possibly harmless.
It’s not about the technology, it’s about us.