There are so many apps to spread ourselves over. Apps to track and record, to log and motivate. Apps to predict, organise and plan. An app to compare ourselves to others who are also comparing themselves to us.

We uncomplainingly deliver little bits of ourselves to app companies, compartmentalising every aspect of our personalities, interests, resolutions, likes and dislikes. Hours of our days spent feeding parts of our being into little glowing squares, when we used to feed those same parts of ourselves into our lives with the people we love.

Those glowing squares are not owned by our loved ones. Instead we’re giving those parts of ourselves to someone else, a company that is faceless, most of whose sole reason for existence is to make money, not to build a relationship with us. A sense of lack is created, then a product created to fill that lack, and whether the lack was real in the first place is usually highly questionable. But we can’t stop.

We split ourselves, directing our attention on little pieces of us, little sections. By doing this, we lose the ability to stand back and see ourselves as a whole, as a human, those little pieces working together synergistically. Where are we? Where is our whole?

I feel spread so thinly, nowadays. But is it any wonder? We are all spread thinly – each app vying for another piece of us, promising to replace something we weren’t really missing in the first place.

We’re trying to make ourselves whole again by spreading ourselves out even further. The more we seek to understand ourselves, the more apps and programs there are that promise to do it for us – and so we stretch ever thinner, and give more of our wholeness away.

Need we be Luddites to find our selves? I don’t know. I’m no Jaron Lanier – I’m a tired woman with too many thoughts, trying to find some sort of peace. Not everything has to have meaning. But the pace of change bears thinking about. There’s an app for pretty much everything – but the most important things… maybe they don’t need an app at all.


Book Shelf Club




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