Are you h(app)y?

We are a people addicted to the ‘new and nuanced’. This is not necessarily a negative assertion of who we have become because it’s who we have always been. Our wonder and amazement for such things is wired in. Whether staring at the latest gadget or gazing at the Swiss Alps, all of it brings intrigue.

With the rate today’s technology is cranking out the latest ‘new and nuanced’, you have to wonder if the intensity is too much for us to handle. Never before have we been inundated with so many intriguing things. Technology, by its very nature, is always changing, and when paired with the natural state of humans, can be very dangerous to our personal welfare. Is technology fostering a shallow sense of happiness for those who wield its power to meet their need for the ‘new and nuanced’? I believe it is.

Modern technology and our humanness is a perfect recipe for producing shallow individuals who lack deep-seeded knowledge about anything or anyone due to a burgeoning impulse to discover the next thing. While discovery is good, so is the need to explore that discovery further. You might say that the deep-seeded enjoyment of something can only be had after exploring it, sitting in it, resting in it, struggling in/through it. However, in today’s world, rather than patiently pursing such ends, we move on to the new. Our wonder has a shelf life comparable to the average YouTube clip.

So, what to do?

Here are a few tips just in time for the holiday season- one of the times we get most inundated with the ‘new and nuanced’:

  • Understand what technology is and does to you individually at a fundamental level. While technology is a great tool and makes for some great gifts, it can also be a weapon (in more ways than one). Don’t let it rob you of deep-seeded knowledge and enjoyment of life.
  • Even in the midst of the holiday craze, take time to sit and think about what you are learning, what you want to dive deep into, and how to go about doing that. The beginning of a new year is a great time for setting new goals and forming new habits!
  • Explore your discoveries! Let yourself sit, rest, and struggle and resist the urge to move onto something new right away. Enjoy where you are right now.
  • If you have a hard time thinking about such things,turn off your technology for a few days (not hours), pick up the paper and pen (older technology) and go to town. It’ll be well worth your time!

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