less is more

One of my friends is a computer programmer. He recently made me the gift of a fitness watch, saying that he would experiment with writing apps for it via an API. I forgot about it for a few days, and when I remembered it, thought I should look at some reviews online to decide whether I should invest the time to learn how to use it.

The reviews I saw showed some features that duplicate features that I already have on my phone. The reviewers were also not particularly in shape. I recognized myself of having been cured of some technomania and consumerism. Technomania and consumerism is when one desires an end result, which requires a certain bit of conscientious time and effort to achieve. Instead of putting in the conscientious time and effort, one buys a piece of technology in order to instantly feel that one has done something, without actually changing any habits.

I was speaking with a friend of mine about this and he offered the example of a co-worker with high blood pressure, to whom the doctor offered two choices: “either change your diet, or start taking medication.” His friend said, “I don’t want to change my diet, so I’d like you to prescribe me medication.” In taking meds, he’s exposing himself to all sorts of side-effects that will compound his bad health, instead of changing his habits to address the root cause.

Technology is harmful when used as a psychological crutch. When this happens, you get better results without it.

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