• I have technology fatigue.

    “Oh no,” I think, sighing, “here we go again…”

    It’s not the first time I’ve been through this.

    In recent years, I’ve suffered from Facebook fatigue, Twitter fatigue, smartphone fatigue, and even back in the day, email fatigue.

    In fact, I’m far enough along this journey that I can remember when the phone rang off the hook and drove me crazy.

    Before the convenience of just letting everything go to voicemail, I had been known to simply yank the telephone cord from the wall.

    I spend a good part of my working day researching, writing, and learning about technology and the digital age.

    From books and articles to presentations and workshops, I’ve been swimming in this space online (and off) for nearly two decades. Maybe that explains the fatigue.

    The thing with technology is that trying to get ahead of it is a fool’s game.

    The truth is, I’m never going to catch up, and sometimes that is just plain overwhelming.

    When I talk to people, whether informally or as part of an interview for a column or book, they very often express something similar.

    “It’s just too much,” they say, or “I’ll never understand technology.”

    My upcoming book is about the Internet of Things (commonly known as IoT). Essentially, IoT is the umbrella term given to the interoperality and interconnectedness of networked smart devices and objects, which these days includes everything from toasters to trains.

    If it can be connected to the internet, it can be smart.

    In the September 2019’s technology issue of The Economist magazine, the feature article is titled Chips with everything. It is a dense 10 pages on IoT, calling it “the computer revolution that is only just getting started” (emphasis mine).

    Researching the book and attempting to make my own smart choices about smart technology is making my head swim.

    The technology seems to be smarter than I am, and just when I think I’ve got some aspect of it figured out, it changes.

    I’ve observed in my previous columns that the scope and scale of digital information as it flows through our daily newsfeeds is beyond our individual abilities to assimilate.

    The same is true of the scope and scale of technological advancement. Smart gizmos and gadgets are proliferating at an astonishing rate.

    Technology today touches nearly every aspect of our lives. We have smart homes, smart cars, and smart cities. IoT aims to make our lives easier, simpler, and safer and we will have to adapt to many new technologies as they emerge.

    Here’s my conclusion: it’s okay to take a rest from tech.

    We are humans and we move at a human pace. As consumers, we are free to choose what to embrace as part of the latest tech revolution.

    You need not add Alexa or Google Home to your household, nor are you required to trade in your ‘dumb’ toaster for a smart one.

    Take a week or two off Facebook.

    Leave your phone at home on purpose.

    Give yourself permission step away from the online environment and its associated gadgets and nurture the human relationships that nourish you.

    The answer to fatigue? Rest.

     

    Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article first appeared in the Maple Ridge News.