Monday, January 21, 2013

Technology Overload

Old Soul in the New World

Navigating the "iWorld" and Beyond

Technology Overload
These past few days have been technologically eventful for this old soul. After writing a detailed and in depth post about gratitude, appreciating our abilities, and recognizing our own personal "zest," I was heart broken to discover that it did not save. If it had, my blog would have been updated two days ago. Clearly me and my old soul are not properly equipped to conquer this new world and its accompanying technology. Today proved to be just as stressful as I went through a technological overhaul and subsequently a technology overload. My father treated this old soul to a new iPhone and iPad. As I tried to sync both devices to my computer as well as each other I found myself becoming overwhelmed and stressed. These technological innovations are supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient. Yet, I seem to be incompatible with these new technogolical devices and I am concerned that I'll never be able to navigate the "iWorld" and beyond. Perhaps I am bound to be dedicated to my written day planner and personal cards.

Maybe I'll never be the most tech savvy person. But, it would be nice to be able to utilize the newest technology and navigate the "iWorld" without experiencing a panic attack. It would be reassuring to know that I could write a blog post without fearing that I may lose it to the intangible internet. It makes me wonder if I am truly an old soul or if I better fit in the category of "keep it simple stupid." Am I choosing to be unique by standing my ground and refusing to accept the "iWorld" and beyond? Or am I simply afraid of change and newness because I fail to understand or trust it? I am not sure. I am trying to thrust myself into the throws of this new world. But, doing so is causing me an uncalled for amount of stress; it is a stress that I am deeming technology overload. 

However, I am doing my best to become accustomed to all these technological opportunities while holding on to some of my old school rituals that I am comfortable with. I will continue to rely on my trusty day planner. I will opt to send hand written cards instead of impersonal e-mails. I will continue to religiously journal and read from hard copy books. 
But, I am choosing to delve into the "iWorld" out of practicality. The iPhone is just the most convenient device for me considering I am able to access both my e-mail as well as the internet from it. I am willing to try out the iPad seeing as it is significantly lighter than my laptop; I am certain it will help in reducing the mass amount of knots that I currently have in my back. I am trying to live as an old soul in this new (and ever changing) world; but, I am beginning to question whether or not this is feasible.

"But, I am choosing to delve into the 'iWorld' out of practicality."
I guess ultimately it comes down to two main questions. Firstly, how can we integrate change into our lives yet manage to avoid an overload, such as I experienced? And secondly, how can we make these shifts while staying true to our beliefs and ourselves? These questions expand beyond the realm of technology and innovation. How can we remain calm when experiencing life changes- going off to college, become an empty nester, getting married, becoming a parent or grandparent? And how can we hold on to our sense of selves while undergoing these life changes- small and major? I am going to offer us two quotes; the first quote is about change and the second is about self-acceptance. I am hoping that we can take a piece from each, integrating elements from both into our daily lives, and figure out how to maintain our personal qualities while simultaneously embracing change and newness.

"You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler."

- Denis Waitley

I liked this quote from Waitley because I felt as if it was on a similar track as my own notions regarding change. We know it is coming; we can't stop it. But, at the same time, we can't allow it dictate our behaviors, what we believe, or who we are. We must be willing to accept change and even test new waters at times; however, we need not allow change to completely alter our sense of being. I am willing to dabble in the "iWorld" but I refuse to let it completely change the way I live my life. You will not see me slyly sending emails underneath the dinner table. You will certainly never find me on Twitter or Instagram (no matter how many times my brother attempts to set both up for me.) And I refuse to give up on some of my forms of communication that are now deemed old-fashioned or out of date. This old soul is welcoming the changes that come with this new world; but, I am not letting go of actions and beliefs that are atypical, differentiating me in this age of insane technological advancement. This sentiment leads me into my next quote about self-acceptance & appreciation.

"...first rate version of yourself..."

"Always be a first rate version of yourself, intead of a second-rate version of someone else."

- Judy Garland

It is easy to lose a sense of who we are at our core in this ever changing world that promotes reinvention and self-improvement. The number of weight loss adds on television is alarming. To me they are saying that you are not ok just the way you are; you need to lose and change because somehow your outer appearance reflects who you are on the inside. The push to change from hard copies and hand written texts to technology is telling us that the old ways are no longer relevent or useless. Reality television shows that display obscene amounts of wealth and pure over indulgence promote a global shift. It is a shift that reflects a change in international values and changes that put greater significance on materialism and money. These three examples are just some from a host of changes taking place in our new world. We have a few options when looking at the "iWorld" and beyond. We can choose to completely ignore it; but in doing so we do a disservice to ourselves. We can't completely neglect the fact that our world is changing; but, if we make this choice we are sure to be disappointed because some day we will look around us and feel like foreigners in our own world and lives. We can opt to fully embrace everything that this new world has to offer and change ourselves in complete correspondence with the shifts going on in the world.
But, again, I need to give warning in taking this route. There is a part of us that is innate and completely unique to who we are. By allowing change to dictate our core values and beliefs, natural behaviors, and identity we are at risk of becoming "second-rate version[s] of someone else," rather than "first rate version[s] of [ourselves]." Instead I am proposing a third option. Let us accept change and innovation; let us find a way to integrate both into our already existing selves and lives. We can navigate the "iWorld" and beyond. We can appreciate change and choose to incorporate newness that seems practical and beneficial to our lives. But, we can simultaneously maintain our inborn value system and continue practices that are distinct to us. I can proudly say that I am an old soul in a new world. I will never be the most technologically savvy individual out there. (There really is no point in me even trying; it's not going to happen!) I believe that friends and family are more important than money and opulence. (Although I do appreciate a pair of designer shoes every once in awhile..haha.) 
Greeting cards- my guilty pleasure !
I won't succumb to social pressure that suggests that I throw my day planner out the window (G-d forbid) and give up on personal cards because email is "so much more convenient." I am willing to recognize and accept that changes are taking place around me and I am even up for taking part in these changes when they seem practical or it is absolutely necessary. But, I refuse to change who I am to the point where I no longer recognize myself. I am willing to settle on being a "first rate version" of my seemingly outdated self because in my eyes I am not really settling. To settle would be to embody all the shifts taking place around me; in doing so I would be sure to experience more overloads and certainly end up becoming a "second rate version of someone else." Changes- moving, graduating college, technological innovations, divorce, starting a family, political shifts, alterations in national values- happen and there is usually nothing we can do to stop them; it is out of our control. But, what we do have control over is how we opt to respond to these changes. Our responses can be separated into three schools: denial, embodiment, and integration. In this case I have to push for integration- recognize the new shifts taking place around you and make use of those that fit with your values and lifestyle. Allow change to help you in becoming a stronger, more productive, and better version of who you are already. Utilize innovation to become a "first rate version of yourself" because there is truly no one else out there like you.

Change is good when used accordingly,

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