Dear friend,

I am a slave of my devices.

I am always on the elusive search for the ‘perfect’ device that will solve all of my life’s problems.

For example, I used to suffer from writer’s block, and I always thought the fault was with my writing device, not myself.

Therefore, I experimented with every sort of device to overcome my writer’s block.

I thought the problem was having a heavy laptop. Therefore I bought an iPad, and tried to write on my iPad (touch screen). I then had problems typing on a touch screen, so I bought a iPad Logitech keyboard. I found it to be too small. I then started to use an external bluetooth Apple Keyboard with the iPad. I soon found that to have slight lag.

I then started to experiment with different writing software. I experimented between Microsoft Word, Evernote, and eventually settled on IA writer.

Whenever I had an issue, I thought that my technology, tools, or software was my problem. But in reality, I was the problem.

Buying a new laptop won’t overcome your writer’s block

Now I am not as particular about what I use to write. For example, I would prefer to write on my laptop on IA writer. However I know now that I can write with anything.

I can write on a pen and pad. I can write on my smartphone. I can write on my iPad. I can write on other people’s laptops.

I can use any application to write. Even if I don’t have any writing tools, I can come up with ideas just by sitting, thinking, and meditating on my mind.

I have nothing to blame but myself

I often blame my technology for all my downfalls. I don’t read enough because my Kindle isn’t the newest version. I am not creative enough because my tools aren’t advanced enough. I am not a good enough photographer, because my camera isn’t new enough. I cannot stay fit, because I don’t have the right gym equipment.

What if we stopped blaming our technology for our downsides, and only blamed ourselves?

I think this would be true liberation.

How to overcome technology dependence

Here are some tips how I’m becoming less dependent on technology:

1. Block tech websites and blogs

I’m addicted to technology, and always want the newest devices. What I’ve been doing is blocking these distracting technology websites and blogs. This way, I am less tempted, and no longer have any new ‘cravings’ for new technology.

This helps me be more content with the technology I already own. And I don’t think that my technology is holding me back.

2. Use a worse tool

If I’m blaming my camera for not being good enough, I intentionally use a worse camera.

For example, when I had some ‘photographer’s block’ when shooting with my film Leica, I started to shoot on my smartphone. This started to liberate me, and I actually realized that some of my better photos were shot on my smartphone (rather than my expensive camera).

And it also helped me realize that my camera wasn’t the problem; it was myself, my approach, and the way I saw the world.

So perhaps if you are a photographer trying to overcome your photographer’s block, use an older camera, or an older model — and see if this liberates you.

3. Study the ancients

The ancients came up with spirited ideas, philosophies, and concepts — all with old technology. Just paper and pen. Or in older days, clay tablets.

The master photographers from the past shot with old film cameras, which had maximum ISO of 10 (yes, ISO ten). Now photographers complain that their cameras at ISO 12,800 is too noisy.

We currently have access to all the best modern tools, technologies, and information is virtually free via the internet. What is holding us back? Ourselves; not our technology.

Conclusion

Honestly, don’t blame yourself for being addicted or dependent on your technology. Companies (hardware companies) and software companies (social media) intentionally make their products addictive.

Have you ever wondered why whenever you log into Facebook, your notification button is bright-red (the color of blood, which triggers danger in our brain)? Do you wonder why smartphones are (by default) engineered to vibrate or buzz whenever you get a notification of a ‘like’ on social media, or when you receive an email?

Do you ever wonder why we keep buying new devices, and being suckered into thinking they will make us happier, and more productive/happy human beings? Marketing exists to stir up desire, lust, and a feeling of incompleteness. There is no better advertising or marketing than Apple– who have perfected the technique of stirring up desire for new devices.

First, admit you are addicted to technology or your devices. Then figure out ways you can setup road blocks for yourself to overcome your dependence.

I will always be addicted and tempted by technology. But each day, I seek to be a little bit less dependent. And hopefully one day, I will be fully-liberated.

Stay focused,
Eric