Gadgets are a man’s worst friend?

posted by Eivind on August 1, 2009, at 3:33 pm


The iPhone, a handy tool or the source of untold misery?

When my friend Staale Nataas pointed out that fitness guru Shawn Phillips had outlined what he thought the main differences between boys and men are, I took them straight to heart. I think it is an extremely accurate and brilliant list.

The first of the points on that list is that while men relate to technology as tools, boys relate to them as gadgets. My iPhone has made me realize how much I still relate to cool technology, at least much of it, as gadgetry. Just earlier today, I found myself downstairs in the basement about to put on my washing, and then realized I had brought my iPhone with me for no reason whatsoever. I was absolutely horrified!

It's just a damned phone with some extras on it, yet much of my time is spent with it, looking for it, making sure I have it with me etc. It has become my main source of distraction. When I use it as a boy, my vitality drops, my integrity dissipates, life force literally leaves my body, and I soon become really unhappy. So why do I do it? Because there's the promise of a short hit of instant gratification, finding that someone has written me with a satisfying e-mail or something cool has happened in the world. The addiction to sensory stimulation. But when I manage to switch my focus to using it as a tool, it becomes the source of vitality, integrity, and life force.

Could it be that our addiction to gadgets are holding as back in the realm of boyhood? Could it be that all those suits out there running around with their Blackberries are not at all that in a hurry to "stay abreast of things", that they're just trying to stay distracted from life and the deeper truths within? Could it be that capitalism by its very nature, and our suckering up to it, holds an entire generation of men back from realizing their potential? I don't know, but it sure doesn't look like I'm the only one with an unhealthy relationship to the technological marvels in my life.

It's the classic question, do we control technology or does technology control us? I personally think that it takes a pretty mature man to not be controlled by it. Which is why it is so essential to take breaks from it all and discover the deeper current within.

Anyway, what do you think - are gadgets a man's worst friend?

  • I love this perspective on technology.

    This means that tracking whether you are looking for technology to actually support you in your mission, or technology that you think is cool, is a way to track your growth path as a man.

    I can see it in my own use of my computer. Every time I use it to write texts, to connect to relevant people and to do research – I feel more alive. But every time I check Facebook status updates, my energy and inspiration dissipates.

    It’s not that gadgets are inherently bad, IMO, it’s just that they should be treated the same way we treat toys and computer games: they’re part of our pasttime, not our mission.

  • Eivind

    Your point about tracking your technology usage patterns as a means of measuring your development as a man strikes home with my own experience.

    It is quite amazing, really, how tuned in we are to whether we are living our truth or not – if we only listen. Sometimes a computer game can energize me, other times put me into a state of depression, all depending on whether playing it was my truth in that moment. This is an amazing concept. It basically means that I always know what to do, and that gauging whether what I’m doing is IT is just a matter of feeling whether it’s improving my interior state or not.

    Sure there is such a thing as doing your duty, but my experience suggests that even those can be vitalizing, if only I manage to frame it within the context of my purpose.

    I wonder, Pelle, do you think this is only possible once we start tuning into our purpose, or is this inner wisdom always available?


  • Great additional points Eivind. Yes, I think it’s always available to us in the moment, regardless of whether we are tuned in to our purpose, or if we are simply becoming more present to our authentic experience in the moment.

  • Now, that is good news. It’s pretty big, actually. The answer is right here, right now, always. Awesome.

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