Years ago Pico Iyer captured in an NYT column the desperate pursuit of silence and detox from our noisy world. The root cause of our anxieties according to him was traceable to the devices that wired us with info which we don’t necessarily need, certainly not all the time. A measured response meant going off the grid to a place intended to give back one’s bearings in order to consciously live again. The end game was potentially a happier life.
Today, the end game careens towards an exciting life with tech — not necessarily a happy one — with microbursts of joy as we speed towards 2020. Laura Holson, a writer for the New York Times, spells out a different narrative from Pico’s — examining the ups and downs of our pursuit of happiness. Happiness may be quantified by the number of joyful moments one can generate (even if it’s from social media).
I know this rings true in the customer experience world where happy customers tended to have more aha! moments.
Both NYT essays allude to a life prone to instant gratification which needs examination and recalibration. Mindfulness might be attainable for a handful of NYT readers. The rest of us tackle the world as an exciting scavenger hunt with nothing more than a small screen and tiny keyboard. It’s possible to collect joyful memories without using devices. Maybe the secret to joy is leaving the phone behind on the next journey.