It seems lately that every day is “National (something) day.” And I am not complaining – if it gives me any excuse to drink a margarita or post a picture of my dog – I’m in. But Today is National Simplicity Day, and though that may not have as much social media traction as the other days (oh – the irony) it really got me thinking about the world we live in.
Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”
And when I tried to think about the simplicity of the world around us, I laughed at this truth. When you really think about it, we complicate the hell out of things, in order to make our lives ‘simple’, but I think sometimes this new ‘technologically simple’ world leads to even more frustration and less simplicity.
Let’s go over some examples:
- I’m sure creating Alexa was no easy task, but the creators thought “ah – how simple it will be for someone to turn their lights on when they get home. How simple will it be for someone to play their favorite song” But what isn’t simple is the heart attack you get when Alexa speaks to you in the middle of the night, or when you’re in the middle of cleaning – and all you want to do is TBT to ‘to the windoooooow to the wall’ and Alexa just orders you Windex on Amazon.
- Smart Phones – we live by them. They are supposed to make our days more simple. But how many times has your smart phone alarm ‘not gone off.’ Maybe the charger wasn’t plugged in all day and the phone died in the middle of the night. You know what never died in the middle of the night? The $10 alarm clock that I plugged into my wall in elementary school. Let’s not even add how ‘unsimple’ social media makes our life – I want to look like that, I want to eat that pizza, I want to scroll here coveting strangers’ lives instead of enjoying my own.
- Online Education – The catch 22 of technology. What’s more simple than being able to take a class online? Well when your wifi goes out in the middle of a 100 question test and you have a lockdown browser on your window and can’t close out without forfeiting the last half of the questions, it becomes a little less simple. I never needed wifi to complete a scantron test. Remember when this first became a thing. And when you missed a day of school and asked your teacher what you missed she would simply say, “check the blog.” That just complicates everything! What blog? What’s the URL? Am i allowed to take my phone out and look at this blog during class or will you give me a pink slip? Could our phones even look at internet back then – so you get my point.
I say all of this to simply remind you that sometimes it really is the small things that bring joy and peace to your day – Not a piece of technology that is supposed to make your life simpler, but a true simple happening. Spending your day living off of technology makes life so fast paced – automated sometimes, and trains our body to thrive off of instant gratification – which many times takes away from the ‘take time to smell the roses’ mentality and in many cases the ability. When was the last time Siri told you to pull over by that field to catch the sunset on your way to your destination. Does your crammed calendar ever remind you by itself to grab coffee with that friend you haven’t spoken to in a year? It is important to not let our digital, automated world take away from some of life’s simplest treasures: people, places, memories.