The Tech to Life Ratio: What Is Considered a ‘Healthy’ Balance?

Closeup of young men and women holding cellphone

Whether we like to admit it or not, the human body, as it exists in the modern world, represents convergence of the human and the technological. While I don’t mean this in a pro-robot dystopian Brave New World or alarming “Stepford Wives” kind of a way, we have certainly adapted our lifestyles as humans such that we cannot function without certain technologies or communication devices. Thus, the human body, I argue here, has mixed with technology and continues to do so in an exponential way. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion, I believe a healthy tech-to-real-life ratio should, and can, be maintained.

So what exactly has the human body converged with? I argue that television, smartphones and computers have integrated their way into our lives to the extent that we would rather go without food for day than without certain technologies. The increased integration of Smartphones into our everyday lives over recent years inserts a computer/telephone/television into our pockets, from where it often doesn’t leave, thus becoming an extension of our bodies. We experience phantom vibrations when the phone isn’t near us, whip it out if ever there’s a dull moment in conversation, and panic if our battery sinks lower than a solid 50% (glass half empty, glass half empty). Socially, it can be a reflexive go-to point for nervousness or if we need to take our minds off something. There’s no excuse for not missing the latest breaking news or celebrity shotgun wedding, pregnancy, or death.

The ability to immediately connect with anyone at any time or place is both an advantage and disadvantage. We distance ourselves from our immediate surroundings, failing to give those around us due time and attention. I thought tech was supposed to strengthen lines of communication? The path to a healthy tech to life ratio is to simply switch off our phones every now and then, perhaps over an entire weekend (did he just suggest that?), and especially while dining. Being unavailable should be a right we can exercise as a society. My favorite and easiest rule is to never text and walk, though most people in NYC have to discover that value the hard way. Maybe we all have to be hit by a pole so that we learn that to disconnect is to connect.