The Inconvenience of Convenience

"I couldn't function without my cell phone."

"Why is this computer moving SO slow..."!" (expressed after 5 seconds of waiting)

"I don't understand why I haven't lost more weight..." (2 weeks in the pursuit sans exercise)

"What do you mean you can't fit me in your schedule NOW?"

"I don't have time to relax...and if I did, I don't think I could...I've got so much to do."

These statements we hear frequently (or express)  could go on ad nauseum. The irony of technology is blatantly apparent if you take a step back from this frantic sense of urgency. Advancement in technology was presented to make life easier...to give more time....less stress. The reality is just the opposite. We see more, hear more, get deceived more and get pushed to do more and understand LESS.

What do we think these gadgets present more of? 

Money? It doesn't seem to be falling from the trees. We're working harder than ever...for less.

Happiness? Stress from task overload seems to be winning. Unless it is on the "schedule", happiness appears sporadic.

Time? The clock appears to have sped up with the ever lengthening "must do" list.

Relationships? Observe a table of people sitting in a restaurant consumed with their texting...oblivious to the physical presence of those around them. How deep can that practice of interaction take you?

 Creativity? Call me "old school"...but, when the eradication of cursive writing was eliminated,  creative elements of the brain will atrophy. Michaelango used to see blocks of stone as angels breaking out with each chisel he made to release them. Does the computer open the mind's eye like the time and effort it took to see what was beyond the granite?

So many, not all, are willing to assume the first thing they hear or read on the news is truth. It would take effort to search a bit deeper...to see from another angle...it would take a little bit more time and be inconvenient. Delve deeper and discover that the "truth" has many layers to roll back. We have the convenience of many sources besides the computer. We still have books to read. We have a magnitude of documentaries on every subject. We have each other to learn from. You never know the wealth of information a person has until you actually stop to ask and listen.

We have turned our perspective of time as a source of inconvenience. The hours of the day are counted and the years become lost in the mix. Before we realize it, the time we sought to live life with purpose is gone. One moment, you're here...another moment...not. Technology, no matter how advanced, will not replace the time you did have. (And, no...I would not freeze my body/brain to be revived in another era if and when technology is able.) My time is now...as is yours.

We have become so (hate to say it) spoiled by convenience that we are forgetting the power of inconvenience. Inconveniences...or, better said, short lived challenges that force you to be more aware of the moment you are currently living. When the computer crashes, you have to wait for it to re-boot. What do you do with the time of this "inconvenience"? Complain until it comes back? Or, use the time to do something crazy, like, stand up...stretch...breathe...and embrace this moment of release? You have been released from technology...for a psychological moment. Use it or lose it.

We are becoming prisoners of technology.

True event: I asked a person who works for a company that is creating robots to do jobs that we, humble humans do a question. "Why the quest to create robots to do work?"
Response: "To make it more convenient."
Question: "More convenient for who? What about jobs?"
Response: "Robots can work 24 hours a day. They don't need time off or a vacation. They don't need to be paid; therefore, we can sell products for less....and they don't complain."
Question: "If less people are making money, I don't see them buying these products they used to make regardless of how cheaply you sell them for....they need to eat and have a roof first and foremost."
Response: None...a non-emotional blank stare and he literally walked away. My statement didn't compute with him.

We have digressed from "everything in moderation" to "everything in extreme". The push for medications to "fix" any problem to condensing a conversation on the phone to a few letters is not advancement of the human race. We speak of wanting world peace; yet, everyone spies on each other seeking for a hint of threat. We speak of searching for the cure for cancer; yet, the basics of the causes aren't truly addressed. We speak of eliminating world hunger, yet food about to expire from a grocery store is tossed instead of being given to the homeless. We wonder why violence in young people is rampant, but we don't prohibit the maliciously violent video games they play during their developmental years. We wonder...but, it is in front of us....staring us in the face.

Why isn't there a quest to change these realities? Is it  because it would be rather inconvenient and just doesn't fit in the schedule?

If we can't find the time to make the changes we talk about...maybe robots will make it happen. After all, they don't complain.






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