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I’m on a quest for a more peaceful relationship with technology

Published Apr 14th, 2024 9:32AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro on a shelf.
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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I’ve been a technology nerd most of my life. I remember my family getting their first Gateway computer, and that was a total game-changer for me. I figured out everything I could about that computer and, of course, ended up on Napster quite quickly, ripping CDs for people at school.

Even before that, I remember being banned from the school library for continuously using up all of the color printer ink. I was printing a ton of pages of Star Wars characters to hang up in my room. Needless to say, I was not cool.

The obsession with technology has lasted a lifetime. From my first iPod to my latest iPhone and a plethora of technological devices, apps, and services over the years, I’ve always been an early adopter. However, after almost 30 years of using device after device and service after service, my relationship with technology needs to change.

Technology has turned into a distraction machine

Don’t get me wrong — I still want a relationship with technology. I’m always going to be a tech nerd. I’m still much more of a nerd than most (see writing for two technology websites). However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten tired of the endless barrage of every new gadget or every new app. Social media is even worse — being a person on the internet requires you to maintain your existence across at least three or more networks at this point.

TikTok running on a smartphone.
TikTok running on a smartphone. Image source: Kaspars Grinvalds/Adobe

If you’re all in, you might have Facebook, Instagram, Threads, X (formerly known as Twitter), Reddit, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, Mastodon, and BlueSky. And, you might debate yourself on what social media app you should post what — or spam across everything. Then, there’s everything else you got going on with your phone. From a deluge of apps that you rarely use to a tidal wave of notifications coming through, you can be constantly overwhelmed and interrupted.

Of course, all of this isn’t limited to just the phone. Ads are coming to streaming services and have been plaguing YouTube for years. Smart speakers are recommending new ways to interact with them unprompted. The obsession to put even more in front of you — and keep you in every app or on every device — is evident everywhere.

I’m on a quest for a new relationship with technology

While there certainly were perks to being up to date across these social media apps and up to speed on every new show and YouTube video, it eventually became more overwhelming than beneficial. Not only was it stressful, but I felt like I had little to no time for, well, everything else.

So, I’ve decided to head on a quest to build a new kind of relationship with technology — one where I feel good about everything I interact with and one that also gets it out of my way for everything else I felt it was holding me back from. That doesn’t mean I’m banishing technology from my life and going back to a world of analog instead of digital — just that I want to ensure the technology I interact with is actually good for me.

How to fast charge iPhone 15 Pro
The iPhone’s dock holds up to four apps. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

I think that’s going to mean a lot of changes and a lot of cleanup. From changing my notification settings, deleting a lot of apps off my phone, updating my Watch Face on my Apple Watch, unsubscribing from some YouTube channels and streaming services, and potentially deleting some of my social media accounts, there’s a going to be a lot to do to get to this new place I want to get to.

I believe, however, that making a lot of these changes will leave me feeling less stressed, more present, and like I have more time (because I actually will). It’ll be a journey, but a journey worth taking.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.