Most of us are completely oblivious to the affects of automation in our lives, but it is always a good thing??
Automation has always been “sold” as a way to simplify our lives, save time and money, plus make us happier overall. But is that always the case, especially over the long term?
I’ll show my age here, but I remember watching “The Jetsons” when I was a kid and thinking about how cool it would be if everything was that simple. As an adult in a very automated world, my thoughts are quite different.
As automation takes over different parts of our lives, we surrender contact and involvement…and become lazy.
Relationships: With the advent of social media, our relationships with other people has completely changed and in my opinion, for the worst.
Granted, we can talk to people all over the world and share information and that’s pretty cool. But at the end of the day, how much closer do we feel with the ones we love? How are we treating people?
It makes me “relationally lazy” to just be able to type out a quick email to a friend. I don’t have to enunciate my words, worry about how I’m coming across, brush my hair or even smile. By surrendering all of my “personal self”, I reduce myself to being nothing more than text, that is if I don’t re-instate my “person” on a regular basis.
Taking time to be prepared as we come in contact with the people we love, through verbal and physical touch, we take back control of our relationships. This isn’t always convenient, but since when are good relationships convenient?
Finances: I know for a fact that when our hard-earned cash becomes nothing more than numbers on a screen, we lose touch with it’s value.
My husband and I led a financial ministry at church for close to 20 years. Over that time, we counseled a lot of couples who were deeply in debt and relationally stressed.
While there are many facets to a situation like this, one of the first things we encouraged people to do is to adopt an “envelope system” until their finances come under control. This is a “cash system” of budgeting. Studies show that we tend to be more careful when shopping with cash than we do when shopping with plastic.
Automation indeed makes us lazy with our money.
Heat and light: Once again, as Americans, most of us expect light and heat to appear in our homes with the flip of a switch. Yet, our fore-parents worked for their “utilities” in the form of candle making and wood chopping.
While some may feel that these practices are somewhat archaic, there is a huge ground swelling of those (including myself) who find more peace and happiness in the older ways of doing things. It’s referred to as “slow living”.
How gratifying would it be to enjoy a toasty, warm wood burning stove while it consumes wood that you chopped and stacked yourself?
What about our food? Clothing? Automobiles?
While I could write a novel on this subject, I think you understand my point. And while the “slow life” isn’t for everyone, it’s something that many of us want to pursue.
What could you do differently today to “re-enage” with your life, rather than let a machine do it for you?
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