Why do we Neglect the most Important Things in our Lives?
We allow ourselves to be distracted and don’t see the things right in front of our faces – the people we love most
Life is a cacophony of distraction.
What is the most important thing in your life? For me it’s family.
My actions tell a completely different story though, and I’m almost certain yours do too.
Some of you may remember a story about my daughter literally banging a drum to get my attention as I drifted ever further into the dark allure of my iPhone. That’s only the most startling of examples.
That is the crossroads we are faced with. Technology makes us destitute emotionally.
We all claim to be busy, but for the most part, we are only busy doing nothing. We don’t have time for anything except frivolously wasting it online. Time is our most valuable resource yet we waste it more wilfully than anything else. If we wasted money as freely as we did our time, we’d all be homeless with no clothes on our backs.
Yet we never change, and frighteningly our screen time is only increasing.
Everyone has a story of forgetting a loved one’s birthday, an anniversary to a partner, a child’s recital — why have we accepted that as an imposed reality? We employ excuses to explain our behaviour instead of accepting the truth. We treat relationships like they are less important than the instantaneous gratification that can be found online.
Neglecting love is the quickest path to a broken heart — trust me, I know having recently split up with my wife.
How many people who’s dinner you see each night on Facebook will care when you die?
That might be an amusing take on a very serious question but the implications are startling. Every second we spend consuming photos taken by an acquaintance we haven’t seen in ten years is one that is irrevocably stolen from our partners, family and friends.
What has happened to spontaneity? What has happened to surprising those we care about? What has happened to giving the gift of time?
I’ve created a product I’ve been using privately for around a year now. It works to remind me to be spontaneous. Organised spontaneity has its origins in my inability to regulate my own behaviour.
So Ember was born.
Ember is a personal assistant that cultivates the love in your life. It nourishes the people I care about by ensuring I never forget about them. It arranges the things I might otherwise overlook and ensures I act in a way that shows my love regularly.
It takes an input of how many times you wish to do something for a spouse, partner, friend, family member each year and plans them spontaneously throughout. When the date arises it sends you a reminder where you are offered options of how to act, gifts to purchase, cards to send, notes to write, dates to have.
It ensures I purchase flowers for my partner 4 times a year, buy her nail varnish on 3 occasions, candles twice and write private personal notes on 6 occasions. It picks an activity for our date night each week and shows me offers relating to it.
It ensures I check in with friends, remember my parents anniversary and finds a gift my sister would love for her birthday.
Simply put it ensures my relationships are never forgotten about maintaining them in the face of distraction. It removes the need for excuses.
Eventually, I hope to utilise data inputs from external sources to assist in recommending which gifts to buy partners, family and friends. Think Facebook likes which indicate preferences for specific brands, products flavours etc.
Each of us creates so much data each day online, that it would be careless to ignore it. Instead of allowing companies to utilise our preferences, likes etc. to relentlessly advertise products we don’t want or need wouldn’t it make sense to utilise this insight to improve our relationships?
That is the next leap in technology. Web 3.0 will be defined by the inter-connectivity of things and the reemergence of humanity.
It about prioritisation. Identifying the things that matter and planning for them, cultivating the love in your life so that you don’t feel alone.
I couldn’t live without Ember.
Do your friends, family or partners deserve better?
You shouldn’t either.