Most people reading this don’t know anything different. “A time when there was no technology? What? How did people survive?” I wasn’t alive in those times either. I remember not wanting to let go of my flip phone to upgrade to a smartphone. Yes, my husband and I were late to that party, and consider ourselves a little old-fashioned. But still, we don’t know first hand what a life without technology would be like. After all, we carried our flip phones with us everywhere, too.
I should probably include a disclaimer here: This is not a shaming, “technology sucks” kind of post. It’s not to tell you that kids should never watch tv and everyone should knit their own sweaters instead of buying them from the store. It’s simply to imagine how different life would be if technology didn’t play such a huge role in our lives.
Imagining life without technology…
1. We would have more time to get things done.
Let’s be honest. Technology is both a blessing and a curse. It serves as a constant distraction in our everyday lives, yet seems to make things easier at times. What if we wrote down our to-do list (instead of typing it on our Google Calendar) and actually got to cross things off of it (instead of procrastinating by watching Tik-Tok videos)? I can only imagine how much more housework I could accomplish if I wasn’t watching so much YouTube in my “free time.”
2. We would spend true quality time together.
Picture this: dinner at the table. No TV on. No cell phones. You could give someone your undivided attention. Imagine that! If we didn’t have the fast-paced life that technology has conditioned us to, people would still make eye contact and have more deep, meaningful conversations like the days of old. After dinner, everyone could gather around the family room and sing songs and tell stories instead of watching Netflix while checking their Instagram account.
3. People would still put pen to paper and send each other letters.
The cell phone wouldn’t exist, so sending a quick text wouldn’t be an option. No email or calling your friends either (do people even call each other anymore, or is that becoming outdated, too?) We would have to actually break out the paper, pen, envelope, and stamp to communicate with people we didn’t live near. Do you ever write letters to your friends? I don’t, but if in 2020 we didn’t have the technology we have at our fingertips, we would be writing letters to keep up with each other’s lives.
4. There may be a greater sense of community.
If you needed a pair of pants mended, you would probably know how to do it yourself or else have a neighbor who could do it for you in exchange for some help around the house. But wait…we could just order a new pair and have them over-nighted with Amazon Prime, right? Fixing things is not as common today as it was years ago prior to technological advancements. Before all of the concrete jungles, there were a handful of stores instead of hundreds within a few miles of each other. You would visit the local farmer for your food (or grow your own!) instead of going to Trader Joe’s or ordering on an app and having the groceries delivered to your door.
5. Kids would have to be more creative.
From electronic toys to smartphones and laptops, children don’t have to think and be as creative as they once did. Playing outside and building a mud house out of dirt and sticks… No, let’s press our nose to a phone or a tablet and play a game instead. It’s easier, for both parent and child, to succumb to the easy, electronic toys and devices. Of course, these toys and devices have their place. For example, my child loves watching Baby Einstein on YouTube, but without TV or the internet, more creativity would be required for entertainment.
As stated at the beginning of this post, this is NOT to guilt anyone about how much technology they use, but rather to simply help you consider how different life might look today if everything hadn’t become digital.