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  • Michaela Patel


Is increasingly smart technology outsmarting us by taking away the power over our life and decision making? From bracelets telling us we need to hit the gym, to phone apps reminding us to hit the sack.

The new IOS 10, packed with new, fascinating features, may have crossed few lines...

For me it's certainly the News icon showing on my locked screen for reasons discussed here.

I find new technology amazingly clever BUT. With each upgrade the strings of our phones are getting tighter, and the software suggestions are getting more intrusive. Compare how much you NEEDED to rely on your old Nokia phone for example. Yes you were not able to use the sat nav, hail a cab, or send an email from it. But your life was a lot less dictated by it.

We are the creature of habit, increasingly dependent on our smart phones. Excited to jump on the bandwagon, we are so eager to test all its new features. The latest technology seem to have answers for everything, packed with advantages. But is anyone asking the obvious questions about its disadvantages?

Don't get me wrong I am a fan of useful technology, but there is a limit to what our phones should do for us. Like with our parents, or partners, there is a degree of DEPENDENCY.

How much dependency is healthy for our emotional and mental wellbeing? Reliable it is, but how much do we NEED to be relying on it? Like with anything, for everything that we get, we also lose something...

We have to ask ourselves these questions to stay aware of our doings, instead of unconsciously following everyone else. We have to stay AWAKE. We have to ask why and what is NECESSARY

(not just convenient!), because that is ultimately how our phones should serve US. Like with others helping us, there is a fine line between helping, and being intrusive, between us feeling supported, and us feeling used...

Yes, there are passionate beings who develop software with genuine intention of helping others, however, we have to question the motifs of big companies making profits.

We are humans, and we should remain that way. The minute we become too ENMESHED with technology we risk becoming that - a robot. Intelligent for sure but what is the price we pay?

Losing ability to make decisions based on how we FEEL.

We are emotional Beings which technology overlooks. What about listening to, and deciding based on, our gut instinct? That goes out the window when one merely follows instructions on screen because of customised settings a week/moth prior. Present moment goes out of the window too whenever we engage with our phone, because one simply cannot BE anywhere else when the eyes and mind are focussed on the screen. People often joke about a room full of people with no communication beyond their own private bubble of an exchange with their smartphone. We are born to interact with other humans in HUMAN ways, with the ability to communicate also non-verbally. Besides reading the text on our screens, reading others is what we do well. We are alive, and cannot re-charge whilst draining the battery life out of our cell phones. Technology gives off the illusion of aliveness, yet it is no match to us engaging with other forms of life.

Our 'PERSONAL EXTENSIONS' (how Steve Jobs called his first IPhone sensation) have changed our lives. We have endless new choices to make, opportunities to realise, but can easily lose our freedom and the opportunity to choose OUR REALITY. If we are not careful a lot can be taken away from us without us even realising. Without us noticing that OUR life has slipped into something we haven't truly bargained for.

We must protect our privacy and peace. We must take time to THINK and FEEL what is truly necessary for us, and in line with that customise our screens, alerts, privacy settings, carefully choose our applications. We must set our boundaries with our devices! Because the time we spend on our phones is OUR time and life we can never get back.

Technology updates are exactly what they say they are - increasingly smart. And we have to be smart too. Not only that. We have to be WISE, because that is what puts us one step ahead of artificial intelligence...

Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.

Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel

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