Should you have a tech code of conduct for yourself?

You know how when the “government” of America was formed, it was supposed to be insanely “limited” to prevent things from getting out of control? Well – look to today to see what happens when things aren’t kept in check. The same logic can also be applied to tech. And why a technology code of conduct is important now more than ever.

Technology, as it evolves – does have some benefits. “Some” is the key operative. However, when you let it CONSUME your life – well, it gets out of control in ways you haven’t begun to realize (yet) because you’re still having fun and supposedly “reaping” the so-called “benefits” (as you’re led to believe) of such a lifestyle.

Famous last words…

Phones are still the central hub of everyone’s life in 2021

All it takes is an hour of casual observation of ANY city street. NYC, Jersey suburbs, or even far away rural enclaves – the evidence is identical. People are “connected” no matter which direction you look.

It could be “augmented reality” games or the impossible to stop looking at (and comparing your life to…) social media sites.

The psychological model is complete. People cannot and will not let go. Nothing else matters to them. There is no debate – and if you attempted to start one, you’d be talking to a blank wall.

That is the sad part, that hardly anyone is self-analyzing the meaning of this tsunami of technology and “must-haves.” And those that do – get “shunned” as being out of touch. Here’s an internet meme for you: Wow. Just Wow. (Hate that!)

Why let technology and communication be your ruler?

We started seeing the writing on the wall over a decade ago. It was when I first signed up for Twitter. To see what all the hype was.

Back then – I was saying to myself “what kind of nonsense is this public graffiti-wall-noise-fest? I’m not doing it.”

We didn’t so-called “embrace” Twitter until years later when we realized some folks out there took the bait. Plus, some privacy improvements made the “tool” (if you would call it that) somewhat useful for our endeavors. While we rarely, if ever “converse” (which is impossible) on Twitter or Instagram – we do use some tools to send our published stories automatically. Same goes for half a dozen other moronic social media sites. The less personal involvement I have with that social cesspool, the better. But they say you need to do it in order to be “found” by people these days. No one searches anymore.

But what is all the nonsense that takes place on those platforms? Are we the only ones that find very little real-world value in them?

Tweets, thumbs-up, likes – what good are they?

You know that phrase “anyone who is anyone…?” It meant that if you had at least a few people you knew… Or had some kind of input or influence with or over.

Today? Everyone is anyone. People from all walks of life – regardless if they have 25 “followers” or hundred or thousands of “followers.” When someone “likes” something, or posts an opinion along with a link to the source – THEY ARE literally BLOGGING in under 280 characters. For free.

Without conversation.

Without contemplation. Without a sensible “arena” to have a decent discussion. Opinions fly around like gnats on a hot, humid summer day. There is no rhyme or reason! No “forward progress” whatsoever. Just sound bites. Those are also quickly forgotten unless they become “trending.”

I’ve witnessed what were (maybe) once noble people who might stand a chance at having decent and constructive conversations with other individuals – just get boiled down into social media machines. Even if their livelihood didn’t depend on it. They just “DO IT” because that’s what all the other “digitally talkative” maniacs are doing. Like society in a blender of hell. What does all that chatter produce other than another charity movement to donate to? Cui Bono? Hive mind? Mob mentality?

So what can you do? Well – we’ve taken a path that you might want to consider… see below.

Our tech code of conduct (2021 edition v0.92)

As a preface – this “tech code of conduct” we’ve attempted to institute upon ourselves is a “work in progress” (hence the digital naming format). It’s in “beta mode” at the moment. Your “mileage” may vary…

  1. Eliminate all actual interaction on “social media.”
    (exceptions include automated website “bots,” and other tools that plug into social media without the need for us to enter the cesspool.)
  2. No personal photos in the cloud or on social media.
    (The fact that hundreds of millions, if not billions of people are (at the very least) “storing” their personal photos online (or even worse), publishing almost all of them to their social media albums – what have you done? 99% of you do NOT value your private life now anymore, do you?)
  3. Restrict phone or tablet “apps” to beneficial ones.
    (at the moment, we occasionally use a banking app to deposit checks, camera if the DSLR dies, and very rarely use a browser.)
  4. Do most of your “computing” or internet work on a full-sized computer.
    (Sure, many don’t have that luxury anymore, but it’s important. It allows compartmentalization. I don’t want to be held captive to the things one might “introduce” into their lives.)
  5. No more calls. No need.
    (This is relatively recent. The thought that everyone is “reachable” at all times is sickening. My shift in direction started when I made a pledge to not answer the phone (especially while driving – with all the heavy penalties), and if I absolutely NEED to communicate – do it pulled over or in a parking lot. You should never operate (or “check”) your phone while driving. Email is our primary mode of digital communication and can be done when safe and sound.)
  6. Leave the phone home – especially when a companion already has a phone.
    (Self-explanatory if you have an ounce of brain matter.)
  7. Only take the phone out when traveling solo.
    (also makes sense “just in case,” but we now leave the power off and never use en route.)
  8. Make the journey the object.
    (So many people I see when I travel – the majority – are on their phones. By this, I mean “passengers.” Hardly anyone “looks around” anymore (I guess “street view” is all they need?) I say fuck that. Looking around gives you a TODAY (not months or years ago) view of your environs. Looking at a device while traveling must have accumulative detrimental effects.)
  9. Never charge phone in bedroom.
    (Leave it in any other room. Been a Godsend!)
  10. No selfies ever.
    (Something sickening about selfies. Or pictures shot in a mirror with the phone in hand. And the fact that people can take dozens before they find one they “like,” should make you wonder how bad all the others that didn’t “make the cut” were. Bleh.)
  11. Nothing better than REAL reality.
    (“Augmented reality” is a deceptive phrase. Anything that takes away from actual reality – is depreciated reality. If your eyes are on your phone or tablet – then they are not truly in the real world. They’re in the digital world. Your body’s senses are shifted towards a fake reality. Period. The long-term effects of this are most likely not positive.)

To be fair… what are people really doing on their phones?

Okay – a few seconds of “fair play” here. I suggest to myself that people aren’t doing stupid things on their cell phones. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re making a last-minute stock trade to prevent financial ruin? Or maybe they’re posting a crucial social media update to save the world from a dictator or natural disaster?

No – most of the time when I “observe” people – they’re on their must-scroll “social media timeline,” playing a game or catching up on the latest “must-know” celebrity gossip. They most certainly could use a tech code of conduct of their own for sure!

People have SO MANY apps or “inroads” to capture (or steal) their attention span now installed on their phones, which is why it has become the core of their lives.

The (real) anxiety that people get if they misplace, lose or forget their phones (or even just if the battery dies) is amazing. How did they voluntarily hand control over like that?

Just something for you all to think about as you spend time with your digital “companion.” Maybe you can use the phone to type your own tech code of conduct?

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.