How we see the world is based on the world that we have experienced. The advice that we give is the advice that we would give ourselves. If someone tells you that "you can't," they are actually saying that "I can't."
We are mirrors.
This is not a limitation, but by design. It is nearly impossible to summon something into our consciousness that we have never encountered. If you don't believe me, close your eyes and imagine a color that nobody has ever seen before. Good luck.
The Speed of Tech
From physics, we know that our own speed determines the universe that we experience. Sights, sounds, and thoughts are all different at rest versus in motion. A train whistle is a familiar reminder of this difference.
In our everyday life, we are "at rest" when we are away from our tech. We are increasingly spending time "in motion." Doctors are now prescribing time away from tech because it increasingly takes more from us than it gives.
Our tech is reframing the world that we see. In turn, we look for a different world. The effect is like ripples spreading through a pond. And just as the ripples distort the reflection, our tech distorts our image of our world.
In the information age, technology has promised us that this reflection will be an objective truth. If not explicitly stated, it is implied. A product for weight loss (for everyone). An app to improve productivity (for everyone). A wearable piece of e-waste that makes us sleep better (for everyone). Everything is about personal comfort.
And of course, existing edtech put out by big corporations manipulates the reflection that children see. This edtech spies on children, building psychological profiles of them, to show them exactly the reflection that they want to see. It is not their reflection, but one that they cannot look away from.
It also happens to you every time you use a search engine. You are shown what you want to see.
Is that necessarily a bad thing?
Although our frame of reference continually changes, it has certain mooring points.
Something like our social security number can influence what we are willing to pay for goods. This is an anchor: the start of a ripple in the pond. First impressions means that there is rarely an objective truth to be found. We are all uniquely biased. The reflection is different for everyone.
The order of exposure – which item provides the first impression in a group – matters too. This is belief perseverance. Once we are exposed to an idea and believe that it is true, we hold fast to our belief no matter how much objective evidence we uncover later showing that the belief is false.
Long before technology invaded our lives, we did not stop to consider its first impression. We were shown that technology will improve our lives, that disposable technology is okay (conversely, that we must continue to buy gadgets without end), and that there is no need to question its lifespan and conditions from cradle to grave.
The public has not previously asked for durable, repairable devices because the damage is not in their frame of reference.
Would we still buy gadgets if the child labor (used to mine Cobalt for batteries) was happening in our front yard? Would we upgrade needlessly if the e-waste was in burn pits in our back yard? Would we ask about the well-being of the workers abroad if they were actually our neighbor?
Even then, would we be able to break the addictions from tech and stop? Belief perseverance tells us otherwise. We know that our individual actions are not good for the planet, but we subconsciously tell ourselves stories that "just one more disposable gadget is okay."
Shift Sight has faith in a future with humane technology; it is a matter of asking the right questions and calming the pond.
Reframe the Question
We are excellent at deceiving ourselves. We tell ourselves the stories that we want to hear. Existing digital technology reinforces these stories by exploiting us and our weaknesses.
Shift Sight believes that our planet is past a tipping point. Our technology has become so invasive that we are being prescribed time away from it. It is a disease. Despite this, we tell ourselves comforting stories and hold fast to the belief implanted in our brain by advertising: our tech can do no wrong. Even suggesting otherwise is blasphemy.
To influence and better our outcome, the first step is to change our thoughts. The simplest way is to reframe the scenario and ask questions to begin to challenge our long-held beliefs. Allow the pond to settle and look at the reflection.
I previously mentioned that technology is about personal comfort.
What if the purpose of life is not to seek comfort at every turn? Would our planet be better off? Self-preservation is a powerful thing, but it no longer serves our collective needs.
Pursuing comfort no longer leads to comfort. It leads to environmental damage and unhappiness.
There is no objective truth. There is a truth that must be discovered at a personal level: one that goes beyond the looking glass, below the surface of the pond. This is self-discovery, and just like the time in nature, it leads to wellness.
Although Jade is a piece of technology, we are designing it for your children and their wellness. Instead of hiring teams to manipulate you into addiction, obesity, isolation, and even brain damage, we are working to rewrite the rules of the game.
Our Founders started by trying to ask the questions that nobody else is thinking about. We were fortunate to have found some. Jade is the answer.
See you next week!
Ty is a Founder of Shift Sight, LLC.