Email represents a major step forward in human communication, and has made all of our lives much more convenient and efficient. Right?
Twenty years or so ago when email started to take over the world, it seemed to promise a new era of time-saving correspondence. If you wanted to communicate with someone on the other side of the planet, you could now do so in seconds, provided you had an Internet connection. This was no doubt a big step forward for the global economy, but how about for your own life?
Having the ability to communicate much more information much more quickly does not guarantee there is more information worth communicating. How much time daily do you spend following links to celebrity news or political rants? How many weekly emails ask you to participate in digital-age “small talk,” while you pretend to enjoy posted pics of your co-worker’s backyard redo? You feel you can’t simply ignore all this “information.” You’re obligated, trapped by this so-called convenience of electronic communication.
“Progress” is often a bait-and-switch–not just at the level of technology, but in your own life, your own choices. It’s important to be honest with yourself, and to re-evaluate often. When you buy new things, adopt some new-fangled convenience or climb another rung in your career ladder, are you truly providing yourself with more free time, life purpose or daily satisfaction? Or are you further shackling yourself to more and more modern obligations?