Do You Really Need this Meaningless Rubbish?

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I remember getting home Monday evening and feeling bone-weary. My body was sore from head to toe and my mind was dazed. I just lay in bed for hours. Suddenly, as if my mind was struck by lightning, I became aware of the plethora of words invading my conscious mind.

Phone. Video calls. Messages. Reply. TV. Games. Laptop. Social media.

…technology. I never really liked technology, but I chose to integrate it into my life. Why did I do that? I was bored and they said a screen would fix it. Until that screen was boring too, and dad bought me a different one. I realize now that screens come in 3 different sizes, just like coffees: small – for phones, medium – for laptops, and large – for TVs. I wonder why people limit themselves to a certain size of coffee/day but use all 3 different sizes of screens every day. If having all 3 sizes of coffee in one day could throw you off balance physically, maybe using all 3 different sizes of screens could alter the chemical harmony of your brain, or maybe it already has?!

I also wonder how much time, how many days we have spent in front of screens throughout our lives? Us, the digital generation, think that technology holds the answers to everything and can pretty much give us anything. How about that boy who has played every car game, but has never helped his dad fix one? Or that girl who has watched endless movies with best friends about traveling, but has never left her hometown? And what about me? 

I realised that night that I might have been in charge initially but that I ended up a slave to my own technology. I used to spend a lot of time outside, in nature, when I was a kid. Until, one day, everybody seemed to get a phone for Christmas and a computer for their birthday. Suddenly, my friends were no longer knocking at my door when they had to tell me something, but they were sending me a text. It escalated to the point that when my phone was not working properly, I told people that, “I have a problem” when in reality, I was not the one with the problem, my phone was.

They call this evolution, and I can understand why, but is it really better to evolve if that means intimate friendship, physical connection, and spontaneity slowly fades away from society?

Is it better to evolve if we all turn into programmed machines? Is it better to evolve if that means we are being reduced to mere cogs in this industrial capitalist world, deprived of autonomy and freedom?

We are being caged and don’t even realize it. We are distracted by the meaningless rubbish we are chasing around: money, status, promotions, bigger houses, expensive cars, more screens, brainwashed by marketing strategies and different pills, until being free is something we no longer know how it feels.

Cars. New designer clothes. Stilettos. Park Avenue condos. Debt. More cars.

…stuff, so much stuff. We own so many things they will end up choking us. Am I exaggerating? Maybe. Sure, financial stability is important, but must it become our first and final goal? Do we really need that bigger house that we need to fill up with more stuff and a new car to go into that second garage and more clothes to fill a bigger wardrobe?

Consumed by these thoughts, I got out of bed and started walking in circles on my fluffy carpet analysing just how much unnecessary stuff I owned. Clothes that still had price tags on, different objects that I bought “just in case I will need them one day” or various ridiculous decorative items. I realised then I was not only a slave to my technology but a slave of my consumerist desire. You’d expect to be happier with every item you add to your already endless list of items when in reality all it creates is frustration and dissatisfaction because you will always want the next best thing.

It was time for my consumerist urge to become a part of the past and for me to shift my focus to what truly feeds my soul. My family. My friends. Nature. The world. New experiences & adventures. Education.

I surrounded myself with loyal, intelligent, funny, brave people. It is a small circle of people, but they are the kind of people that cherish life in its purest form and more importantly, they know how to love. In a world that places more value on things than people, a world where people are scared to love unapologetically, they gave me their hearts and trusted I would love them back. They are the ones that I know one day will change the world. Do you have this kind of people around you?

We can get so caught up in this fast-paced evolution process that we forget happiness lies in simplicity. Surround yourself with people, not objects. Don’t buy that 4th pair of jeans, those outrageously pricey sunglasses or a brand-new laptop when your old one is still working. Instead hug that good friend more often and book that flight you always wanted! One day you will be too old and tired to disobey and dare to live your dreams and all you’ll be able to do is push that start button to your TV. So why do that now, when you could be out there living your dream life?

Credits

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11123530043_1d28f2fa35_o 11123530043_1d28f2fa35_o tec_estromberg CC BY 2.0