For most, technology is an accepted part of day-to-day life. We wake up to our phone alarm, check email, listen to podcasts on our way to the gym or work, and the list goes on. When something becomes acceptable, whether through societal or legalistic change, it’s easy to ignore the less positive effects of said change.
As an avid ‘techie’, I have been consumed by this change—perhaps more than the average person. When I found minimalism, these two passions clashed and left me questioning what was truly important to me. I didn’t quite understand the existential pain I was going through at the time, but looking back, I can see that it was a necessary step in order to further my minimalist journey.
I started to realize the mistakes I had made in the past, like buying video games simply to have something to play or using credit cards to fund a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford. I then began to analyze the utility of the things I owned instead of the imagined status the item gave me. I paid off my phone contract, casting aside the chains of bondage to monthly payments for things I hardly used.
I began to understand that I had placed so much importance on what technology meant to me, that it began to negatively circumvent other aspects of my life; affecting my relationships with family and friends. My interest in tech had become a painkiller, a way of avoiding difficult questions. Minimalism is a panacea, but it won’t solve all your problems. What it will do is give you the right questions to ask yourself so you can then take the action needed for change.
Two years later, my life is streamlined. I only own what is useful to me. I’m no longer on that conveyer belt of yearly upgrades. I have jettisoned videogames because they no longer fit into my current lifestyle, and although I have many happy memories of games gone by, I would rather make new memories with family, friends, and lovers. I may not have the newest phone or the fastest computer, but I have all I need, and that’s enough.