Cutting off Tech Awakens the Sleeping Creativity Inside Us

We asked how people can raise their awareness to keep themselves from becoming a slave to the high-tech business.


Author of The Myth of Capitalism

Denise Hearn

Hearn writes, presents, and consults on economic justice and human flourishing. Hearn has a BA in International Studies from Baylor University and an MBA from the Oxford Saïd Business School. She has also built new impact investment models in Canada and helped create the world’s first Trustmark for Sharing Economy companies in the UK. More recently, Hearn was Head of Business Development at Variant Perception, a global macroeconomic research and investment strategy firm that caters to hedge funds and family offices.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have collectively acquired over 436 companies and startups in the last 10 years.

Anytime an interesting or novel technology emerges, the tech giants gobble it up. Most small companies now do not expect to succeed on their own and their only goal is to “exit” by selling out to one of the big tech companies before they are crushed.


GAFA Crushes Capitalism

Capitalism flourishes when new technologies or services arise and create competition that are beneficial to consumers. However, when companies become too dominant and control the very infrastructure on which commerce relies, capitalism dies.

Competition suffers when it is difficult for new entrants, entrepreneurs and innovators to enter the market.

Every day as American go about their daily life, they are transferring a big part of their paychecks (which aren’t rising very quickly) to monopolistic companies like Apple and Amazon. And that’s why inequality gets worse.


What We Can Gain by Keeping Away From Our Phones

So how do we escape from being overly dependent on tech? It helps to find practices that connect us back to ourselves like reading, meditation, physical exercise and music, as does committing to communities with rich and deep face-to-face relationships.

My husband and I recently decided to do “no-screen-Sundays” every week. Anything with a screen, such as TVs, phones, computers or even Kindle readers, are not allowed to be used.

This is based loosely on the Jewish concept of the Sabbath. Instead of using the internet, we converse, listen to music, read and exercise. We also attend Sunday services to reconnect ourselves spiritually. So far, we have seen tremendous benefits even though we have only done it for a few weeks.

We have much better conversations with the people in front of us. We cannot use Google Maps to navigate so it makes us connect more to our city and where we live.

It’s very difficult in the beginning. Your phone has the internet, text messages, maps and a camera all together in one place.

By cutting those things off, however, it shows you that you don’t have to always be relying on technology and that we as humans have the capability to do some of these things ourselves.


Awakening to Our Inner Creativity

The most important thing is to realize the inner creativity that we are born with. The brain needs downtime to facilitate new neural pathways.

“I might get a text from someone.” “I might get an email related to work.” The brain needs downtime from these thoughts to facilitate new neural pathways and think innovatively. That’s why the best ideas often occur to people while walking or taking a shower.

I think that we are starting to come to a point where information is readily accessible, but people are starting to realize there is more to gain by disconnecting from technology. I think we’ll see more of this in the future.


Cutting off Tech Awakens the Sleeping Creativity Inside Us
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