Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Consider me that one aunt that always has something negative to say at the dinner table. It’s me again, finding an issue with something that is not necessarily flawed. I think I hate technology. And definitely not in the your-teacher-from-highschool way, but also totally in that way. I don’t enjoy technology simply because I’m just really bad at it. However, one of the things that I do love about tech is the ability to organize.
I love organizing. At the start of the semester, tired of shoving my clothes in the drawers, I bought white hangers and hung up my clothes colour coordinated. No, it did not spark any joy and instead the thought of getting my clothes up in the wardrobe instead of the drawers, had me so stressed out that I could not sleep. Maybe I’m just anxious, but I’ll talk to my therapist about that.
Anyway, technology makes it easier to organize things. I love a collaborative Google Doc, a sheet, an online invite to dinner, a Google Form, that little Chrome extension that says “Good Morning Harleen, what are you up to today?” I love them all. I really do. But I hate the thought of my life being dictated by my Google Calendar.
My phone has an alarm for every hour of the day – no they are not perpetually on, but they are just in case I want to take a nap between writing an essay and writing another essay. At the start of the semester I was on a quest to perfectly manage my time, so for the first time ever, I started using Google Calendar instead of just going to class when it was time.
Now, Google Calendar has taken over my life. I’m sweating as I write this, wondering if my technological overlords are reading this and planning on shutting me out of the app and making me late for my classes. I digress. There is nothing wrong in wanting to be organized, organizing my entire semester on an app has made sure I make it to all my meetings, classes and work hours. It’s a wonderful system, but at the same time it has made me realize how much I hate living life by every Google Calendar reminder, or every alarm clock buzz.
I feel like Pavlov’s dog. Except I don’t get food every time I get a notification. Just anxiety. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for the next notification, the next email, the next invite, the next reminder. Living life trying to maximise productivity every 60 minutes is not fulfilling, instead it is incredibly vacuous.
I am mindlessly floating through time and space. I am moving from one class to another, citing Foucault or Marx and thinking I’m smart, and then thinking I’m not, getting in a bus that makes a 5 minute journey a 20 minute one, getting to work, filing something, answering a question or two, answering an email, reading a book for class, writing an essay, spending my weekends at CarreFour because getting a good deal on an avocado is literally the only thing that makes me happy. Then I wake up on a Sunday, wait for a Google Calendar reminder to tell me what to do, all over again.