Why I Feel Guilty For Helping The Tyranny of Tech as Jeff Bezos Blasts Into Space (And What I’m Doing About It)

friends dining together thwarting the tyranny of tech

When I saw that Jeff Bezos had blasted into outer space and wanted to take billionaires with him, instead of realising it was the beginning of the tyranny of tech, I thought, ‘What a dick!’ 

Seconds later, a light bulb went off in my head. I realised I’d contributed (in my small way) to make this happen and I was appalled. Maybe it was just the cover for the blinker of his spaceship or the zipper on his spacesuit but I contributed to making this happen, to the tyranny of tech that we now are facing and I am guilty as charged! 

I have been a huge Amazon fan and contributed to the success of this giant in many ways. I loved having my books delivered to my home in Paris as often it was difficult to track them down here or it meant making an effort to trudge off to one of the bookstores that sold English books across the other side of town. I also bought other things that I could have found in a local shop if I had tried such as photography equipment, cat beds, and gadgets, but I used the excuse that it was easier, and herein lies the problem!

Amazon — like many of the incredible tech creations such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google — started out as a truly amazing idea and service that liberated us on one hand and gave us the opportunities to access products once not possible delivered to our doors but have made us exceptionally lazy and housebound.

Then the tech giants grew from backyard underdogs to be a global monopoly that stamped out the competition in the form of corner bookstores and small chains around the world; family-run businesses that had served communities for generations and the individual, the artisan, and the way we communicate and congregate. We have ushered in a new era, the the tyranny of tech. Social media and tech giants hijacked our time, creativity, common sense, and distanced ourselves from mother nature and humanity. Our dopamine addiction and their brilliant use of algorithms have made us slaves to smartphones and screens, dishing up just one more cat video that will give you (me) our next hit. 

Instead of hundreds of thousands of families being able to live through selling books or selling other products that bring them joy, it has become one family, Mr. Bezos’s and his mates.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology as much as anyone else and I’m grateful that it allows me to have an online business. These giant tech corporations have given us brilliant innovations that have, on one hand, liberated the way we work but also dictate what we can purchase, what information we have access to or don’t, freedom of speech and censorship, the breakdown of communities, and how our society is being shaped. Right now it feels like we are on a giant seesaw where one end is hitting the ground and the other is swinging way up in the air, there is literally no balance. 

In short, we have given this handful of people the ability to control our lives on every level and we have lost our way with how we use it. 

We forget how powerful we are. We think that our actions and choices don’t make a difference but they do, it’s how we consume, what we purchase, where we invest, and who gets our attention, time, and pennies that make certain corporations, men and women, social media platforms and tech giants so powerful. We are collectively responsible. 

The tyranny of tech means that the power in the world right now is in the hands of very few people,  and it’s impacting our world in an enormous way. 

Imagine if Jeff Bezos decided to save the Amazon forest instead of shooting himself up into space on Friday night with his buddies for a whiskey and dry, what a difference that would make? What if Mark Zuckerberg, the ‘illegitimate prince’ in the tyranny of tech, decided to unite the world instead of dividing it with his algorithms and censorship and plans for even more artificial intelligence simply so whatever our brains think will be delivered to our door without hitting a button? What if we all started walking across town to get our books and art products, who would we meet, what would we see, what conversations would we have, what inspiration would come into our minds and what joy we would receive? What if we got the control back in our lives and put down the phones, even left them at home, and freed ourselves from the dopamine that is begging us to pick them up yet again?

Of course, this is all my opinion and you may see it differently and that is OK!

Bare with me whilst I continue my observations.

Here is what it is doing to us:

Disconnection

Social media has contributed more than any other innovation in our lifetime to the breakdown of human connection and isolation. Once upon a time, we relied on community halls and gatherings, feast days, and concerts to come together and do what humans do. Talk, help each other, laugh, dance, rejoice, mourn and live. Instead, people are staying home and making endless Tik Tok videos.

The tyranny of tech means we are isolated in our homes, anxious and disconnected from each other, and held hostage by a screen. A screen that tells you highly curated information so only you get to see what they want you to see. A screen that has hijacked our lives and we have all become addicted to being inundated with useless information from thousands of people we barely know, bits of mind numbing trivia that occupies our consciousness, energy and drains one of the most precious resources we have, our time.

The other great disconnection is with ourselves. The chaotic amount of information and opinions of others derails our intuition and losing your own rudder means losing yourself, decisions and choices become overwhelming.

Social Media — Too Much of the Wrong Information

I had a thought about this the other day! When I was a kid, I would know about some aspects of the lives of the kids around me. There were vague whispers about others through parents, teachers, and other adults, and the news from outside my world came through magazine articles and television. Now if I click on Facebook, I can access trivial information of literally thousands of people that I barely know. Superficial Information that takes up my attention, affects my emotions, and clogs up my brain. The human being has never been in a situation of such ineffective, useless information overload since the beginning of time. No wonder people can’t get anything done or teenagers (and adults) are wracked with anxiety.  Anybody that consumes it, would feel anxious. 

Watch Social Dilemma on Netflix to get a better understanding.

Media 

Mainstream media has become poison. Yep, I said it. 

People always ask me how I manage to stay positive in a world that feels scary and my answer is, ‘I don’t own a television.’ Mainstream media has become a version of social media with its one-sided algorithms and blasting fear into your living room 24/7. No wonder the quality of people’s lives is becoming less and less because the greatest weapon used against humanity today is fear and the mainstream media love nothing better than giving you a daily dose to keep you topped up and under control. What happened to great journalism and debate, what happened to creativity and storytelling? What happened to the search for the truth and the marvels in our world?

Creativity

People often ask me how I managed to create three books of my own and collaborate on a further five when I was starting out? The answer is very simple, social media didn’t exist at the time or it hadn’t ramped up to overtake our lives. I wasn’t busy creating content on social media, walking along a street being dragged out of reality by a ‘ding’, or going down a rabbit hole of posts that triggered my emotions and sucked my time. Instead, I was wandering around villages in Italy or Europe, finding beauty and sharing that with others. I was sharing positivity and joy and allowing space for ideas to come in. People often have remarked that I produced a lot of work and when I look back now with all the distractions in our lives, I realise the difference is the peace and ability to focus. Now you have to have a military game plan to make that happen, strict boundaries, and bucket loads of self-control because the level of distractions and interruptions is mind-blowing (literally).

the tyranny of tech, playing an old fashioned game in italy friends and family, carla coulson

Community

Once upon a time social media came in the form of community halls, festivals, sporting clubs, charities, RSL clubs, music, art classes and many other wonderful ways that humans would congregate. We’ve lost the balance, many of us have had moments in our lives where the tyranny of tech has meant we have had a good night in ‘staring at our phones’ with a home delivered meal instead of putting on our favourite outfit and going out into the world to hear the music and laughter.

Mother Nature

If anyone is shaking her head and wondering what the hell is happening is the mother of all mothers, Mother Nature. One of the greatest tragedies that I believe in our lives today has been the imbalance technology has created with mother nature. It has disconnected us from the great outdoors, from getting off the couch and going for a hike, sitting in the backyard, diving under a wave, planting a garden, and just admiring her beauty. We have forgotten we are her children, we are part of nature and not apart from nature. That we need her as much as she needs us and our bodies do well when we are connected to nature. She is wondering where we went, why the mass exodus from outdoor barbecues, playgrounds, hiking through her forests, and sailing on her seas?

the tyranny of tech, a day at the beach in monopoli, carla coulson

Values 

I would encourage you to check in and see if the people at the head of the places where you consume everything in your life have values that are aligned with yours. 

Ask yourself, ‘What values are important to me?’ Start to consume and align with people, companies, and platforms that have similar values to you. If you don’t align with a guy who wants to blast off into space then find another place to get what you need and with someone who values the same things as you.

What I’m doing to change it and you can too.

    1. I stopped purchasing from Amazon and found other alternatives. I want to do business with people who believe in our planet. I made a pledge to ‘buy better.’ I check who owns what. Instead of buying a Nestlé chocolate, I choose a local French chocolate maker; instead of buying from Zara, I buy from family-owned or small companies promoting quality, not quantity. I shifted a long time ago from products like L’Oreal shampoos to a locally made solid shampoo. For the past twenty years I do the bulk of my shopping at my local market where I meet the same people each week, individual families that run their stalls and sell their produce instead of shopping at big chain supermarkets. Start looking at alternatives, locally made products, small companies, or alternatives to the giants. Start spreading the love/money. Your money will make the difference. 
    2. To lesson the distraction and the tyranny of tech, I have moved my coaching groups off Facebook onto a private platform and will be closing my Carla Loves Photography page for good this week as well as my personal profile and slowly closing down anything that is owned by Mr. Z Berg. Instead, I meet up more with friends in person, have conversations with the ones I love, and set a daily limit on social media. I’m putting time into the community on my doorstep.  Observe how much time you spend on social media and set a limit. Start to become conscious of how it makes you feel and what it stops you from doing because you are consuming too much of it. 
    3. Turn off the television and give it away. Make a conscious decision to control what comes into your mind and energy field instead of letting an endless mantra of fear program you. Start to pay attention to what they are saying instead of letting it cascade over you and you will see the fear is a constant message.
    4. Walk away from your screens, call a friend, knit, go outside, take the dog for a walk, create, play tennis or get your friends over for a barbecue and talk. Join a club, go see a concert, get up and dance, laugh, and celebrate being human. Get out into nature and enjoy her beauty, go on a hike, swim in the sea, or go for a walk on the beach. Fill yourself up with goodness and recharge your tired mind and soul.
    5.  Get connected to your breath and release the anxiety that comes with staring at your screen. You can breathe with Athalee Brown and myself  HERE
the tyranny of tech, friends chatting whilst swimming, carla coulson

Above all, my beautiful friends, remember you are powerful. You may think you are small and what you do won’t change anything, you are wrong, it will change everything. There are millions of us and we are the ones that ultimately have the power and with every choice we make, we can create a new and exciting framework for the future that will serve our families, children, nature, creativity, nervous systems, and our souls.  

If we spread our money, love, and joy around, we spread the power around too, it will be in the pockets and hearts of many thousands upon thousands of families and small businesses that one by one will help us build a better and more harmonious world. By waking up to what is going on we can turn this tyranny of tech around before it is too late. 

Please feel free to add a comment, a contribution, an idea, a way you manage your life today because opening the conversation and working together is what I believe will make a better world. 

 

Sending you love…

Carla x

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Sally Abram
1 month ago

Oh my goodness Carla! This is an amazing and awe-inspiring post. Thank you for sharing. I completely agree – we have all been sucked into this world of manipulation, even if unknowingly. I have also begun to make hard and fast changes in the way I do things and will have to re-think so may things. It will be beautiful to see the world again through a more personal vision. Let’s pray that many others make the changes too.

Petrina
Petrina
1 month ago

Beautifully said Carla. You we able to put my thoughts into words! We have to take back our control. Raising 3 kids one of whom is now 12 these issues could not be more paramount in my mind as I battle everyday to limit screen time. What future are we leaving our children? One where they are permanently hooked up to a device controlled by someone far away, incapable of normal human interaction? It sounds likes a bad science fiction film doesn’t it.? We have to fight to stop it becoming any more realistic than it sadly already is. Thanks for putting your thoughts out there Carla. X Petrina

Sharri Harmel
1 month ago

Carla, I think you and I had this conversation in some sort of cafe in a different realm of reality. I LOVE everything you said and wholeheartedly agree. The question I constantly ask myself (and I too live in Paris but for only 6 months/year) what do I do with all my extra time when I’m home in Boston because of the convenience of Amazon’s deliveries showing up at my door? If I don’t order books from Amazon that wait for me to read them, will I take more care to read what I have rather than chasing the current best-sellers? Will I figure out something to cook with what I have versus spending time pursuing websites with recipes? Do all these time savers….actually cause me to be more impulsive, less creative, and dare I say nosey about what other people are doing? Am I the Gladys Kravitz of the internet? Well…I need to answer my own questions and make some changes. Thank YOU for the wake up call!!!!

Sarah Wood
Sarah Wood
1 month ago

100% agree Carla.
Thank you for articulating so perfectly.
Praying the masses awaken to the reality of perspective and asap xxx

Melissa Florence
Melissa Florence
1 month ago

Hallelujah!!! You are speaking my language!! So so so true and beautifully said Carla. We are all powerful. And every time we buy something we vote for what kind of world we want to live in!
Yes great tips. I shop at the local co-op bulk store or farmers markets. These are relationships built over years and we know where and how our food is grown. I love supporting the local bookstore and art shop. Buying less, consuming less, using what we have, sharing with others, connecting with nature, getting outside, there’s so much we can do to change this.
I was remembering yesterday when we didn’t have mobile phones and how lovely it was to not be constantly on alert!
I’m more and more leaving my phone at home. Letting people know i don’t carry my phone with me. Letting them wait . Being present.
Oh this is a BIG subject !

stephanie
stephanie
1 month ago

Absolutely Amazing post! So spot on. For me, I try to shop local, but I DO use Amazon and will try to be be more conscious of it. I am not ready to completely disengage from FB as I do use it to keep connected with those a little further flung but the point is I use it as needed and am not hanging on it all day. But I agree that so much of it does not align with my values.

Kim
Kim
1 month ago

Best post I’ve EVER read! Truth, right here! Thank you, from Midwest, USA!

Michelle Glass
1 month ago

Hi Carla! Thank you so much for sharing such powerful words. I couldn’t agree more. I too have been on a healing journey to free myself from social media and truly being present and living in the real world. I think that this is a good reminder to reconnect with our value systems and invest our time and energy in supporting green businesses and shopping locally. I will start to reflect on how I can make better choices that will help to nurture the earth, people, animals and plants that live here.

Paula Robinson
1 month ago

I couldn’t agree more, Carla! Thank you for taking the time to express it all so clearly and eloquently.
Like you, I moved away from TV years ago and have felt so much better for it. I find social media draining and unrewarding. And, as you say, Mother Nature is calling and is our answer.
Rethinking how we do business and with whom is vital. There’s nothing like interacting with a maker for bringing a real spark to your day – hence why I like Etsy and finding people who make things themselves rather than reselling. I’m currently chatting to a jewellery designer who’s such an inspirational creative and also rescues donkeys and donates proceeds from her sales to a donkey sanctuary. That’s actually a very telling sign when choosing suppliers: those who give back rather than those who are all about the money and themselves – like Bezos who doesn’t even take proper care of his employees…
Keep the dialogue going! Speaking out and reminding people about what REALLY matters is vital!
xx

Willmott Daryl
Willmott Daryl
1 month ago

Enjoying this day
in the most contemplative way.
Not taking it for granted,
this grandiose play.
Wondrous and in awe of
all the beautiful clouds,
all the beautiful birds
in this beautiful world.
Sitting in silence
pondering this verse,
breathing in this moment
with a longing and a thirst,
to swim always in this ocean,
and always put this love first.💙🌸
Thanks Carla, great blog!!!!😊

Kaye
Kaye
20 days ago

Thanks Carla for articulating so beautifully what’s really important to each and every one of us living on this planet earth. A reminder to us all to take action now. X.

Lorella Masci
Lorella Masci
20 days ago

Carla, I agree with much of what you have expressed so well here and thanks for making us all think carefully about what we consume. Just before my recent birthday, I decided to edit my FB profile so that my birthday was not visible to everyone! How refreshing that was….no need to keep checking on birthday wishes posted, but instead had calls and messages from real friends, had real life get togethers with friends and family and have kept celebrating for days. All the best and hope to keep reading your blog posts!

Lisa Rennie
Lisa Rennie
20 days ago

I couldn’t agree more! Another thing to consider is Uber Eats – I watched a documentary on this a few years ago. They take the profit from our local restaurants, black kitchens are the only way to really be profitable (industrial kitchens who create a variety of food with no shop front – your Mexican, Chinese and Burgers are probably all coming from the same kitchen). We made a decision to avoid ordering from a delivery provider to support local business. Being able to meet with friends, share food and conversation together is so much of what we love. We all jeopardise being able to meet at a restaurant by supporting Uber eats etc.. and then what, we all sit at home?

lisa
20 days ago

You know you just gave me a sense of my own POWER to affect change for the better, what am I gifting our children, we chose a simple life yet here we are all glued to our tech. Thanks for leading the way as always, BRAVA
Time to make those small changes that when they add up across the world will make the difference xxx

Brenda Potts
20 days ago

Good for you! So very brave and a great way to lead, take the bull by the horns and do it your way. You’re saying and doing what many are thinking about saying and doing, including myself. I once had a friend who did something I disagreed with about her doing and she said it was “a necessary evil”. In my own way I am doing this necessary evil to help my small Brick and Mortar survive. I hope I can find a way to take your road! Best of luck, and many good wishes.

Sharyn Elliott
Sharyn Elliott
20 days ago

Perfectly said Carla. I couldn’t agree with you more. Social media has us believing we’re connecting with people more and that it broadens our world, but I believe the reality is quite the opposite. The art of having real conversations has been lost and our focus is no broader than the screen we’re glued to. Social media can be a useful tool but there has to be boundaries, because living is lost in its limitations.

Tricia
Tricia
20 days ago

I’ve been feeling the same way lately… sick of the Amazon/FB/IG/etc. time suck and addiction. None of the distant family I claim to be “keeping in touch with” on social media actually post anything these days and all I seem to see is controversy and arguments about nonsense. I miss the old school way of getting together and actually enjoying my friends company. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.

Shari
Shari
20 days ago

So happy that I stopped to read your blog.with this topic and your spot-on views. I have implemented a few changes in my life-style trying to get away from this unnatural way of living. Sadly the pandemic was reason enough to get me to Amazon – I had never been a shopper there before. I have moved away from Facebook personally, yet social media is what I do for.a living. Promoting for a small business so I am constantly trying to appease the “gods” of FB/IG with their ridiculous algorithms and incessant changes. My television only comes on in late evening and usually to be entertained by an old black & white film. I definitely need to make more changes. Thank you for tapping my shoulder with this reminder, Carla!

Zoran
20 days ago

My respect for such a significant and inspiring step. I hope it’ll create a snowball effect.

Vicky
19 days ago

Hi Carla
This post means so much in so many ways! Thank you for putting it in words and making it so clear. We are missing out on a precious life and need to put the power, love and money for that matter back in our hands. A while ago I deleted the fb app of my phone because it was affecting my emotions so much I just could think clear anymore! It’s been such a light feeling! You have inspired me to remove my profile completely!
I really enjoy your posts and energy and will continue to read your blogs.
Regards
Vicky

Kris Ashpole
19 days ago
Reply to  Vicky

Hi Carla. What an inspirational post. Thanks for always being a trail blazer. I’ve been doing similar things – shopping local, supporting our local book club, farmers markets, buying less, using what I’ve got, focussing my life and work on making a difference – still more to do. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those people focussed on changing our world – I love that Dolly Parton is doing that through her Imagination Library. I’m trying to work out what do to with technology – Facebook, Instagram, Whats App all owned by Z. What’s the alternative to Instagram?

I totally agree that we all have the power to change the world, to have a voice, to vote with our devious and actions.

Thanks for your wise words Carla and for always showing the way forward. Xx

Hella
Hella
19 days ago

Indeed! _/\_
And putting our money into more ethical banks!

Anna-Nicole Del-Re
Anna-Nicole Del-Re
19 days ago

So many times I’ve thought about deleting FB. I get annoyed at myself for scrolling daily. It’s an addiction and I’m tired of it. Thanks for the thought provoking piece.

Hudson Sarah
Hudson Sarah
18 days ago

TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE! As a child of the 50s and 60s I’ve been lamenting the loss of innocence, the loss of community, the loss of children playing simple games in the streets instead of glued to their screens, the loss of a life lived simply and I’ve been wracking my brain to think of what else I can do to become even more aligned with my values.
I’ve always shopped at independent shops and markets where possible but I can do better. I don’t watch live tv but I can limit my screen time even more. I don’t do enough for others so I can work on that and you’ve made me think even more critically about how I use my time and money. I’m fed up with the lies, the control, the power, the inequalities and the mass brainwashing that comes to us via the media.
As you know Carla I sell my jewellery on Facebook and I’m not sure whether an Etsy shop would work as well. I do have a conundrum there.
Fantastic blog – I’ve saved the link. THANK YOU beautiful you ❤️🙏🌸