We have all come across articles online with catchy headings that tell us how we can do things easier and quicker. These seem like clever shortcuts that can not only reduce our time but also make us more efficient in time management. However, Joseph Reagle, associate professor of communication studies at Northeastern University talks about how this may not always be as rosy as the picture painted. His book Hacking Lives he traces the history of life hacks and provides new insights into the practice.
When we use shortcuts, Reagle says, focusing ourselves simply on the goal and not on any other things, what we are trying to do is be like a horse who is intent on not being carried away by distractions to reach the finish line. What happens with such an attitude is that it can restrict our outlook towards life itself. Life hacks is not a new phenomenon as one might think it to be. It was first seen in an eighteenth-century annual publication by Benjamin Franklin.
Life hacks, Reagle says, is mostly sought after by work professionals who have too many things to do and too little time. In such a scenario, many tricks that we see may be helpful. However, there is an equal share of life hacks plastered on the web that is not only useless but also harmful for us. They especially become dangerous when we are aiming for a perfect outcome than being happy with a moderate result. Trying to push ourselves over the edge may not always have the results we hoped for.
N Malavika Mohan