Our lives used to be simple. With the advancement of technology, there are changes that we have made to our lifestyle. High technology (also referred now to as “smart tech”), whose goal is to make our lives easy, turned out to be one of the biggest problems of the modern digital world. We always have this urge to buy the latest and the greatest gadgets and appliances. Sometimes to impress people that we don’t even know on social media, or tolerate our lazy reliance on the new technology. Is going “smart” really a smart decision?
What is a Low Tech Lifestyle?
While techy people always want the newest and the greatest, people living in low tech lifestyle always want to get the most out of their existing technologies. They are not the people who entirely deprive themselves of the latest technology. Instead, they are people who still work on 5-year-old laptop or computers which still “gets the job done”.
What’s the sense of wasting money if your old one still works, right? If the old technology you have right now is still economical to use and gives you a performance enough to finish the job, there’s no sense of upgrading to the smarter ones.
Low tech lifestyle is not only about not “excessively” buying the latest gadgets and appliances, but it also refers to a lifestyle we have pre-social media. The era of sanity.
People living with this lifestyle try not to rely much on social media, or altogether remove social media out of their lives. Facebook and Instagram, for example, has been a part of our daily routine. We sleep and wake up with our phones, reading other people’s problems or success on these platforms.
Imagine having a rough time, and seeing our Facebook friend’s success and our favourite influencer’s new travel getaway. Sometimes, it makes us question ourselves why we don’t have the same level of success as them, despite working 8-12 hours a day.
We Don’t Talk Anymore
Newer technology also distracts us from reality. Ten years ago, when we go out with our friends, we always had long conversations. Today, when we go out with our friends, 8 out of 10, it’s just all about eating and scrolling on our phone at a restaurant. Sure, a short “how are you”, or “how’s life been…”, while staring at our phone’s display but that’s as far as conversations go.
Some restaurants (like the Hearth restaurant in Manhattan) now collect people’s phone to help customers not get distracted from enjoying their meals and real-world conversations. Tech companies such as Google also join the movement with it’s a mandatory implementation of “Digital Wellbeing” feature on all Android devices running Android 8 and above. Digital Wellbeing tracks where you spend most of your time when using your smartphone.
Sometimes, social media cost us our peace of mind that some of us resort to “tech detox”. Tech detox is a mind rehab which aims to refrain us from relying much on high technology, clearly from our gadgets and social media for a specific period. While tech detox is just a temporary activity, low living tech is for a lifetime for many. Not only does it save time and money, but most of all, our sanity.
How to Live a Low Tech Lifestyle?
Living a low tech lifestyle is not that hard to start with. What you have now (including your phone, TV, and laptop) is what you’re living with for the few years.
As I’ve said, the goal here to get the most out of our existing technologies. If you’re still using a CRT television, you are free to replace it because it is no longer economical. But if you’re using a 4K UHD television, is upgrading to another 4K UHD television necessary? Also, if you still have an LCD TV with HDMI, you can take advantage of some mediacasters like Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick, or Chromecast to make it smart! No need to shell out an extra $400 or more to spend on a smart TV. With the right Mediacaster, any TV can be smart.
An android phone usually gets an update for up to 3 years. Two years for major OS upgrade, and 3 years for security patches (based on Android One). I have friends who always work their asses out to buy the newest model of their favourite brand, just less than a year after the release of the previous model.
Android users are the most vulnerable when it comes to switching phones. Android phones are much cheaper and more diverse than the iPhone, so users think their Android phone is disposable and take for granted all the things a cheap phone can offer. However, you can always use different themes or launchers to change the User Experience of your phone. Even you can switch your normal text messenger to some customized messenger or you can download GBWhatsapp instead of a normal WhatsApp which will give you more options for customization.
As I’ve said, low living tech is not just all about gadget and appliances. It also means living your life surrounded by “real” surroundings. Removing social media in your life is not easy. I have a hard time doing this too. Here’s the thing, I created another account for this specific purpose and deactivated my personal account. I didn’t add anyone who is not essential to me.
Doing this will reduce the number of notifications you receive daily and will, therefore, save you a lot of time. You can do the same for Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as well.
If you want to rant to something, do it. We usually want to let the world know what we feel. After a few people have seen and reacted to it, set your audience to “Only Me”. So, what’s the sense of ranting then? Well, letting someone see it, gives you a certain satisfaction. And if you get this satisfaction, it’s time to make it private, so you don’t get more notifications.
But have you realized one thing? This used to be the job of a diary. A diary helps us let our feelings out, without having to worry about how people react to it. It never wastes our time, because you have no notifications to reply to.
Benefits of Living a Low Tech Lifestyle
Living a low tech lifestyle is all about enjoying real-world life, saving money, time, and restoring the classic lifestyle we have pre-social media days. As I’ve said, there’s no need to buy a new phone or computer if it still gets the job done. Don’t waste money on something that you have! Get the most out of your existing technologies before finally deciding for an upgrade. Getting smart gadgets and appliances is not as good as trusting yourself and your senses. Yes, there are things we can’t do, but come to think of it. We never really think we needed one until it suddenly just exists in the market.
Social media has become a waste of time, and living in a real-world is way better than living on social media! Yes, life is stressful but let me tell you this, social media is hundred times more stressful! Imagine getting bashed after saying an opinion. Using Social media is letting yourself get involved too much on things that make you depressed. Of all things. Not healthy. Instead of posting on social media, try writing a diary.
One more thing, living low tech makes us appreciate even intangible things such as darkness and silence. Here’s a snippet from David Maddalena’s book title “(low) tech writer”:
“I love it when the power goes out. I’m not immune to the inconvenience: I am a computer user after all (note that I don’t publish these essays on parchment paper). But if the power does go out, I will save my work, fold my laptop up, and revel in the silence and the dark. To light candles and be in the beautiful glow of little flames and listen to the subtle, natural sounds. It’s a little unplanned vacation from modernity. I am glad for the conveniences of electricity. But there are always consequences that result from our tireless pursuit of convenience.”
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