In the period between this century and the previous one we have been involved in a huge revolution, perhaps silent and not violent, but which has carried deep changes in our way of life.
The diffusion of technologies, first and foremost the information technology, has influenced countless aspects of our life, such as work and leisure, but has also shaped, very quickly, our way of thinking, of interacting and of expressing ourselves.
Is it good or bad? I do not know, but it is inevitable.
The advantage of us “analog born” is to be able to direct this revolution in an intelligent way, making sure that, as sometimes happens, the revolution does not lead to a form of dictatorship.
To avoid the pitfalls of the new technological and of a “connected” society we must start from a consideration: every apparatus (device, computer, software, …) represents an extension of our thinking, a sort of “external mind”.
With the computer, for example, we perform complex operations “lightening” the work of our brain, with mobile devices we extend the reach of our senses, communicating in various ways (verbally, textually, with images, …), the Internet acquires and distributes information with a speed infinitely superior to any other medium.
This is the positive side, the negative is that this process is not one-sided, if we receive the “external mind” as we give (if not more).
Try, for example, to install one of the various apps that monitor your activity with your smartphone: you will be impressed by the time (hours or days) that you stick to the device and that obviously subtract other activities in the “physical” world.
There is a very simple way to avoid this alienation: always think about whether the technological alternative is the best.
We are sure, for example, that to find an address the best method is to be glued to the display of the smartphone, or do not first ask a passer-by, also interacting in a “human” and direct way with another person.
And, again, do I first and I think better to take notes on a sheet (which I will then organize in a digital way), or do I have to slow down a meeting to hack with an app for mind maps with the tablet?
To better live, we reduce the dominion of the “external mind”, while cultivating our human and inimitable thought.