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Tech Is a Trap
And it's not the only one
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu observed that “the art of war is the art of deception.” In the conflict between humanity and machines, computerized technology exemplifies this deception.
Before the high-tech era, it was easy to tell whether a tool was helping or hurting. If a hammer was driving a nail, it was helping. If it was hitting you in the head, it was hurting. If a stove was cooking breakfast, it was helping. If it was burning your hand, it was hurting.
It’s much harder to tell whether a computer, smartphone, or other screen-based gadget is helping or hurting. Is that app, video, or game making your life better or worse? Deception is tricky, because it means that things aren’t always what they appear. That’s what makes technology such an effective trap.
Technology is a trap for your spirit, but it also takes existing traps and makes them more devious.
Worry is a trap for your mind.
Politics is a trap for your principles.
Money is a trap for your love.
Processed food is a trap for your body.
Pharmaceuticals are a trap for your health.
Entertainment is a trap for your imagination.
Pornography is a trap for your thoughts.
Alcohol is a trap for your awareness.
Once the traps have you, they steal your most precious resources: your time and your energy.
In a simpler era, the concept of putting time and energy into something was called worship. There’s a story about a guy going up a mountain and coming back with some instructions for how to be human. One of the instructions was not to worship “false gods.” Technology is a false god, and our society traps us into worshipping it.
Once you become aware of a trap, your first priority is not to determine who set the trap, or to what end. Your first priority is to avoid falling into it.
The false god of technology is seductive and invasive. Let’s make 2023 the year we watch out for its traps and withold our worship from it.