Digital Devices in a Mindful World
As much as possible I try to live a conscientious existence; for the most part I enjoy doing so, but it is not always easy to reconcile a modern day lifestyle with eco-centric values.
When it comes to technology, it can be a challenge to figure out where and how devices fit in, particularly when it is our intention to live mindfully. Granted most of us could do with reduced screen time and a digital detox once in a while, but is it possible, even beneficial, to have a balance of both a more eco-centric lifestyle with a sprinkling of digital convenience?
In my experience thus far I would argue that a little bit of technology goes a long way in adding to our quality of life - I think the key is how we use it. Like almost anything, too much of a good thing can be problematic, but using our devices mindfully can be a significant help - potentially freeing up more time for us to spend with family, friends, and outside in nature.
As such I have decided to create a new vertical for devices, technology, education apps and the like as I discover them. Let’s begin with one of my new favourite household helpers, Amazon’s Echo Spot.
I discovered the Echo Spot serendipitously after musing about how I could inspire my son to wake up on time in the morning. The thought of a beeping alarm didn’t appeal to me, but with the spot he sets his own alarm with a voice command request for a favourite song, and uses a voice command to turn it off, which wakes him up enough to get him out of bed! #winning!
I also connected the Echo Spot to my Audible account, uploaded Scarlett Johansson reading Alice in Wonderland, and had her soothe my son to sleep while I worked, on an sick day home from school.
Although he’s past this stage, the Echo Spot works as a baby monitor, or to show front door cameras, as well as controlling smart lights and thermostats. My son loves to ask Alexa nature questions, like “what do baby hedgehogs eat”, and then giggle at the image that pops up of worms and other yucky stuff. But speaking of images, not to worry, there are parental control settings, even the ability to filter music with explicit lyrics (sorry Drake).
I think what I like the most about this device is the ability to connect with friends and family who live further away, as compatible devices with screens can be used to make drop in calls. When used mindfully, and in moderation, devices like the Echo Spot can help us learn, organize, enjoy, and connect.