Less is more in the digital age
October 15, 2019
The price of the car is not only the price you pay to acquire the car. There's also the price of the fuel of course, and the price of maintenance. Not only that, there will be the price you pay by giving up on walking (exercise). Or the price you pay by not being able to read a book on a bus if you'd take public transport.
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
It's not that having a car is bad. The point is that when we acquire things or join services, there's a price to be paid - as reminded to us by Thoreau above.
We have to carefully consider whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. If the benefits of owning a car outweigh the benefits of not owning one, then it makes sense to have one.
I travel quite a lot recently, I like to read a book on public transport and I like to walk - a lot! Therefore, for me, owning a car wouldn't make sense. The pros would outweigh the benefits. It wouldn't help my life to move the direction I like, it would restrict it.
Obviously, this mindset does not just apply to a car but to every little thing and service. All these little bits and pieces can add another layer of complexity to our lives.
“The things you own end up owning you.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Even when I'm considering to buy something really small and at first glance trivial - I ask myself: “Do I really need it? Would this have benefits to my life?” Usually, the answer is a clear “no”, so I end up not buying things.
The same goes for online services and social media.
Many people have an account on most social media platforms without realizing that with every service, they pay a price - their time.
Our time in this world is the most precious thing there is. So, before you think about joining yet another site, ask yourself if the benefits really outweigh the negative aspects.
Facebook has its benefits. Yet for me, these benefits are negligible when I compare them to all the bullshit Facebook would introduce to my life if I'd be active there.
For a business, having a Facebook account most likely in all imaginable instances would be more beneficial than not having one. In today's world, if you're business (or even an artist), and you're not online, you simply don't exist.
Don't be a sheep and follow what everyone else is doing. I hear this so many times: “But everyone else is on Facebook”. So what? Can you think with your own head? Think for yourself and don't worry about what others are doing.
If the price you pay is acceptable for you, then of course, keep doing it. If not, then it doesn't make any sense to keep at it.
Take scrolling through the Instagram feed e.g. The time you spend on that activity most likely does not justify the benefits you get out of it. To be honest, what real benefits you get from scrolling endlessly and tapping on a digital heart button? Time is wasted, and nothing gained.
The less you do these superfluous things, the more time you have on your hands to do things that really matter.
Some practical tips: cut off TV completely, don't read the news, don't scroll the feeds, avoid writing comments on any platform, uninstall all the social media apps from the phone (you can access them through the web), use your phone only when you actually need it not when you're bored.
For me, life took a totally different meaning after I implemented the above-mentioned. At least give it a try to see if it makes a difference for your life as well. If not, well, at least then you know.