“Taaaaaaaaake onnnnnnnn me,
Taaaaaaaake meeeeee on!
I’ll beeeeeeee goonnnnnnne,
In a day or TWOOOOOOO!”
What the hell does that mean? Who cares!
All I know is that I can’t get a-ha’s “Take on Me” out of my head. It’s been there ever since the trailer dropped for the nerdy nostalgia-bomb that is Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” a blockbuster movie out now, based on the best-selling book of the same name:
As a child of the Oregon Trail generation, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the pop culture and nerd references throughout the novel and could certainly relate to the main character Wade Watts, an overweight awkward teenager who loves 80’s pop culture and escapes a crappy existence by spending most of his time in virtual worlds.
It had me thinking deeply about how technology is creeping into every aspect of our lives, in both good ways and bad.
We can’t not check our email every 3 seconds. We can’t stop watching Netflix. We can’t stop scrolling through photos on Instagram. We can’t sit through a conversation with a person in front of us without habitually checking our phone every time it buzzes.
And then we all wonder why we are too busy, distracted, unhealthy, unhappy, and can’t get our shit together.
These days, it’s becoming more and more commonplace to use technology for convenience and quick bouts of entertainment and happiness to shield us from the reality that there are parts of our lives or our health we’re unhappy with.
In Ready Player One, we get a very plausible look into a dystopian future where those societal trends have continued: technology gets better and more convenient, and people spend more and more time escaping into more exciting virtual lives online.
And society has nearly collapsed as a result.
Although this book is partly a cautionary tale about where we’re heading if we don’t change our behavior, it’s also a charming Hero’s Journey, deep fried in neon-tinted nostalgia, that I couldn’t put down.
As a gamer who thinks about life like a game (and even wrote a book about this very idea), every page of this book had me grinning from ear to ear.
Today I want to quickly discuss the pitfalls of technology and then share my 10 favorite ways to use technology to get ourselves to actually do the stuff that matters every day.
This is Nerd Fitness, after all.
So…ready, player one?