The intersection between
modern technology, philosophy and psychology has remained one of my main themes of interest over the past 8 years. The theme fascinates me, because of its ubiquitous presence and enormous influence in our lives in this tech world. Rapid technological development has opened up a whole universe of possibilities, it enables us to live abroad and work remotely, for instance. It also has a wide variety of unwanted and possibly unforeseen consequences, such as social media addiction and anincrease of social anxiety.
Recently, a philosophy named
“Digital Minimalism” caught my attention. In a book under this title by Cal Newport, he lays out a theoretical framework and a practical way to declutter your digital space. This practical philosophy empowers you to claim back your autonomy, freedom, time, and energy from digital technologies, such as Facebook and Instagram. With “Digital Minimalism” as my guide, I am currently re-establishing my own relationship to modern technology. I have reduced my social media use to twice a day for a
maximum of 20 minutes. I read my e-mail up to 3 times a day. The effect is that I spend more time outdoors, have more eye for the beauty of nature, and that I have more real life meetings with friends.
The effects of an unhealthy relationship to modern technology become more evident every day. For many people a hyperactive and overthinking mind is very normal. Not feeling the signs of your body, such as insomnia and exhaustion, until it screams for help is not unusual. The individual is not always to blame, reacting constantly to external triggers is deeply ingrained in the structure of our society and worldview. Learning to defend yourself proactively must become the new habit.
I distinguish myself by combining a thorough philosophical analysis with an embodied and very practical perspective. Nothing is as disempowering as having a clear view of a problem, without having any clue how to be differently. I find a great source of inspiration in Daoism, especially in its martial and internal arts. Daoism empowers you to get back in the driver’s seat of your life, with a bright combination of theory and practice. By practicing these arts, I got to sleep better and relax deeper. Furthermore, I have a sharper focus andhigher productivity.
In my career as a freelance writer, journalist and researcher, I bring a clear and accessible perspective on the issue at stake. At the end of the day, my writing always has empowerment at its core. I believe in writing from integrity, aimed towards positive change in the lives of real people. The essence of all my writing and research is: giving the reader back ownership of his life. My work aims at giving the reader the ability to be proactive, have more focus, make better use of his time and energy, and relax deeper. In short, to feel more proactive and less victim.
Are you struggling with how to relate to digital technology? Have you experienced that “simple life hacks” have not resulted in the results you desire? The good news is, that if we create time and space to reflect together, and combine reflection with practice, change for the better is possible.
Jeroen has an MA degree in Philosophy from Leiden University, and has written his MA thesis on the relationship between modernity, technology and spiritual development, based on the work of Martin Heidegger and Otto Duintjer.Without extra gadgets.