Sample Content Preview
How Technology Can Make You Free
Right now, most of us are not free. We feel free because we have the option to go where we want and do what we want… in theory.
But we’re not truly free because our options are limited and ultimately we have to stick to pretty much the exact same routine everyday if we want to be happy, healthy and unstressed. Sure, you could call in sick and opt to just spend the day exploring or watching TV… but the consequence would be that you’d lose your job.
The other day I was watching a TV series called 22.11. 63 in which the lead character can travel back in time to one day and stay for as long as he likes. Every time he travels back, it undoes what he did last time. And he’s rich, because he gambles on sports matches knowing what the outcome will be.
In the first episode he walks around the town, gets a haircut, eats some food, buys a car, chats with the locals and explores.
Shouldn’t every day be like that?
Shouldn’t you have the option right now to just head outside and go and grab a bite to eat? To visit a famous landmark? To travel to the beach? To go to the gym for a workout?
How incredible would it feel to be actually free in this very real sense and to live the life you wanted?
But chances are that you can’t do that. Either you’re at work in which case you need to carry on spending all your time and energy on something that you’re probably terribly impassionate about, or you’re at home and don’t have much time so you need to cook and get ready for tomorrow.
Chances are that you’re grabbing a moment to read this between all the other things you have to do. This is your downtime and it’s all you maybe have the energy to muster. Not free.
The biggest problem here is work. Most people spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week doing a job that they don’t enjoy and that they have no real interest in. And while 8 hours might not seem like a big chunk out of 28, it is when you consider you probably also spend 1-2 hours commuting, you probably stay late at least a couple of times a week and you sleep for 8 hours a night.
This now leaves you with about 6 hours of waking time. And seeing as you’ll be getting ready in the morning, you can slash that down to 4.5 hours. And seeing as you need to cook, wash, tidy, pay taxes, call the bank, fix the boiler… that 4.5 hours doesn’t go very far. And it also won’t go very far because you’re probably exhausted.
This is why so many of us struggle to start working out and stick to that routine. And it’s why so many of us feel we don’t get to spend enough time with our family and friends. It’s why friendships fall away and it’s why we don’t have time to work on our master novel we’ve been thinking of. We’re just too exhausted during the few free hours we have to ourselves.
All we have is the weekends, during which we are probably committed to doing other things (weddings, stag parties, funerals, tidying) and which really isn’t enough to do all of the things that most of us want to do.
And this would all make sense if you loved your job. This would all make sense if you had always dreamed of being an astrophysicist and now you are. But for most of us that is not the case. For most of us, our job is whatever we kind of ‘fell into’ when we left college/highschool. You probably started with whatever job you could get, whether that be logistics or underwriting and you probably then got somewhat addicted as you started to progress. You built up your life around the salary you got there and now you feel like you can’t leave and still have the lifestyle you’ve come to expect.
What’s more is that you feel as though you need to keep working harder and longer in that job. You’ve probably moved into a bigger house with bigger mortgage repayments, you’ve probably had children (which costs a small fortune), now you’re probably paying for a child minder and a big commute and if only you had a little more money.
Meanwhile, dreams of one day becoming a rock star or a writer fade into nothing. Meanwhile, the idea of being able to decide on a whim to go for a stroll becomes an equally unrealistic fantasy.
And apart from anything else, work is degrading a lot of the time. You get told what you can and can’t wear, you get told off for talking and you get told what you can have on your desk. Sure, some employers are a little more forward thinking than that but for the most part, being at work means being treated like a child.
This is all not okay.