© 2019 Pat McAndrew

  • Pat McAndrew

We Don’t Like To Be Told What To Do


We don’t like to be told what to do, plain and simple. While some of the most open-minded people can take constructive criticism and use it to their advantage, they much prefer the criticism to be offered as a suggestion. Depending on who this suggestion is coming from, it could hold more or less weight. At the end of the day, however, it is up to the individual to either take the criticism and make the changes necessary to put it into action or leave it and view it as not super helpful.


The Advice Tightrope


The tightrope of when to give advice and when to hold back is, indeed, a tricky path. As with a tightrope, we feel as if we can fall off this conversation at any moment if we speak out of turn. I have found in my experience that it is best not to give advice unless the person is in serious, serious danger or if they come to you asking for your advice.


We Love Power


We like to assert our power and we often do so in the wrong circumstances. For those theater folks out there, many of us have experienced a time, perhaps while rehearsing a show, that another actor starts giving you directions, a job that really should be reserved for the director. In the corporate world, the equivalent may be a fellow employee telling you how to do something when he or she really has no place in doing so. Many of us can’t stand being told what to do by our peers, let alone our bosses.


I find, in most respects, that demanding and ordering to do this, that, and the other thing, does not seem to work very well. People are turned off by dictatorships and, while it’s important to have leadership, a society seems to operate most effectively when said leader is open, kind, and collaborative.


How To Educate About Tech Use


There has been a lot of research coming out regarding the negative effects that technology is having on human development. It is very easy to tell the general public that this or that is why you should be mindful of your tech consumption. I’m probably guilty of doing this on The Low Tech Trek! But as I’ve grown to realize, people won’t change if they don’t want to. If people want to spend their hours, days, and weeks glued to their smartphones, then that’s what they are going to do. As much as I would love to inspire change in these individuals, it’s just not possible until they are willing.


With this said, it’s important to assist those who are looking for help, who are looking for new ways to improve their cognitive abilities in the digital age. Much of the problem is that we don’t realize what we are losing when consumed in the online world. While spreading awareness is important, demanding action in the lives of those who don’t want it is not the route to go and it’s a waste of time. We must educate, inspire, and then take action.

We don’t like to be told what to do. But if we can inspire people to want to make the change themselves, then we are heading in the right direction.