In my gym there are multiple TV monitors playing subtitled programmes, and for weeks last year they were broken. They would flicker between frames and often freeze entirely.

Over time I came to think fondly of these humble screens. I imagined their refusal to function as a dignified protest against their human overlords.

Oh, the exhaustion of churning out a relentless cycle of subtitled news and sitcoms! And the sweet relief of snatching even the briefest moment of pause.

This coincided with a period of huge change for me, as I finally left the startup I had poured my energy into for over a decade. 

I was experiencing a strange mix of emotions. I mourned the loss of purpose and control, but savoured finally being rid of the all-consuming stress that had engulfed my life for so many years.

After a few weeks, one of the monitors in the gym settled on a single unchanging screen:

Having the freedom to do anything I want has been wonderful

An appreciative message reflective of the dignity it had afforded itself through its period of quiet defiance. But nonetheless hinting at a stoic acceptance of its ultimate fate. The next day the screens were back to normal.

I’ve also been truly appreciative of the freedom I’ve had recently. But am I resigned to the same fate as the monitors?

It would be easy to get sucked back into the relentless cycle of work that has that characterised so much of my life in the last ten years.

It would also be easy to be resigned to the futility of resisting “always on” technology.

However, unlike the TV monitors and their enslaved existence, my sister Kate and I built Loco2 with purpose and agency, and we leave in a hugely privileged position.

I have my freedom. The question is, what am I going to do with it?

Also published on Medium here (link below is broken!).

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