It’s almost the new year, and on top of that a new decade, so what better time to create (super long-lasting) resolutions to improve our lives? And since technology is very rapidly taking over our lives, that means making resolutions to manage our relationship between machine and human.
The next decade will see the merger of technology and biology in ways that we cannot fathom. There is no right or wrong, each development will be scary or exciting depending on your personal viewpoint. What is sure is the relentless march of progress will take us into uncharted territory that very well might represent the next level of the evolution of our species.
So being conscious of how we use technology is critical. And that starts with our digital habits now. While cutting down time spent on Instagram might seem trivial in comparison to installing electrodes into our skulls to access hybrid neural networks, the spirit behind the active reflection of the choices we make is the same.
Here are my tech resolutions for 2020:
Buy less stuff on Amazon
Amazon is a perfect example of Newton’s second law of physics (which can also be applied to society since the societal is physical). Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Amazon provides unprecedented convience and choice to buy nearly anything. Amazon also is responsible for driving countless small businesses to shutter, for creating false value chains in order to make it impossible for others to compete, and for generating incredible amounts of carbon footprint with hordes of deliveries that swarm cities and stop up traffic.
For these 2019 holidays, about half our gifts were bought from Amazon. I have hundreds of unread emails in my Gmail and they are almost all about Amazon orders. I am conscious of this fact and I think that I spend too much money with Amazon. Amazon is slowly taking over the world and whether or not that is a good thing, I think that I can find alternatives to Amazon in order to support other e-commerce sites and buy more from physical stores. I might also cancel my Prime membership.
Remove screens from the bedroom before bed
I’m a big fan of reading. I go through a lot of books each year as well as reading my Economist every week. But sometimes I do find myself lying in bed playing Mario Kart on my phone or scrolling through Instagram. Blue light causes our brains to believe that it is day, since it resembles the light of the sun. Staring into it makes it harder for our brains to shut off and go through the cycle necessary to get a proper night’s sleep.
This is a battle that I can win. I’m already halfway there but I think that by formalizing this position with a New Year’s resolution that could have very positive dividends.
VeePee (what used to be Vente Privée) is a discount site that features brands each day. It’s addictive because you never know which brands will pop in. It’s great because it sells tons of wine. And everything comes delivered to your door.
The problem is that it pushes excessive consumption, and the amount of packaging is gargantuan. I order a lot of wine from VeePee but I could just as easily go around to our local wine caves and buy directly from them. It would support local businesses and I would learn much more about the wine that I’m buying. Would it be more expensive? Of course, but I think that shifting away from discount-based consumption to finding fewer pieces of higher value is important in today’s economy.
That means good-bye to VeePee.
Unfollow all influencers on Instagram
I love Instagram. It’s beautiful and inspiring and full of some amazing photography. I love following my friends and sharing moments from my life (mostly travel and food I cook). But I’m over influencers in all shapes and forms.
Considering the line of work that I’m in, I follow a lot of influencers. Influencers themselves might not be bad people, in fact many of them are very nice. But I can’t stand people posting continuous selfies of themselves, hawking products from whatever brand makes them a few bucks. I’m going to go on a purge of influencers to purify my feed. I recommend you do too!
Happy New Year!