“Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master”—Christian Lous Lange

'Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master'—Christian Lous Lange

It’s remarkable that Christian Lange made this observation about technology back in 1920. That was long before personal computers or mobile phones existed. Yet, his insight on not letting the tools we make control us rings so true today. Our smart devices now dominate our lives and fill them with distraction.

Think about how tech companies design apps to hook us. Notifications pull our attention frequently. Infinite scrolling feeds hit our brain’s pleasure centers. Mobile devices want us engaged for hours a day without clear intent. As Lange wisely warned a century ago, boundaries help technology serve us better. We need guidelines to remain the users, not the used!

We must also disconnect regularly. These breaks allow us to reflect and recenter ourselves and ensure that tech does not dominate our focus.

Back in the 1920s, the “masters” were more machinery and factories. Today, the masters we must control live in our pockets! But the core advice remains perfect for modern life. These powerful devices promise to enhance our world. Yet, their addictive nature requires extra self-discipline. 

We need to keep real people and experiences at life’s center. A quote 100 years old could not be more relevant today. Let’s heed Lange’s advice and keep the real world at the center while smartly harnessing tech.


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