The Value of Doing Things Yourself

I live in the 21st century. We live in the 21st century and we are all continually surrounded or near technological aids and devices that make life easier. When I confirm as much then why this peculiar title? The reason for me is simple and easy to understand. Sometimes though this reason is so underestimated that people continue to insist on being passive consumers who cannot think or act for themselves.

My reason for this as straightforward as it is fascinating. The human mind is amazing. When you as an individual choose to devote yourself to personal development you can go incredibly far by making the effort. Sure sometimes a thing you want to learn and understand that is too complex for you yet you can still gain some understanding.

One of the worst things of these times is how manufacturers of products, services and experiences and marketers sometimes underestimate what you can do when you make a serious effort. Ever since daily life became increasingly digital since the 1990s the experience of all kinds of media became increasingly more digital and invasive. Advertisers and marketers also saw opportunities.

What I find worst is how sometimes people simply say “I do not know, why should I want to know?” to which I would reply “well when you actually reserve some time to learn and understand what you are doing you can do more by yourself.” Almost every day I meet people who are so dependent on their software and applications. Many of them are not even remotely interested in the settings and inner workings and I wonder what will happen if the software and applications stop working.

The dependency on “things that just work” makes people dependent consumers, ripe for marketing exploitation and the gradual emptying of wallets. This phenomenon can even make people think that they really cannot do things themselves. Yet in life doing things yourself is one of the most important aspects of life for self-development, adaptation to different environments and survival in nature and civilisation.

Being able to do things yourself is so important that if people do not maintain a particular skill, they can lose it entirely. I have seen how people my age stopped writing and just could not write in a handwriting that looked like handwriting. Yesterday, the 17th of September I met people who could not work with basic local library software. It was as if they expected the Google search engine to solve it for them. I helped them out and said, “reserve an hour to try everything out in the software by just clicking, observing and testing.”  None of them apparently even considered doing such a thing.

When I bought my now humble iPhone 4s, the first thing I noticed was that everything worked. The second thing I wanted to know was where the menus for system settings were. Why? I prefer knowing how I can fix or reset my phone than to exclaim “my phone does not work!” As much as I appreciate how technology can aid me and assist me, I still want to be in control to an extent. Just being a non-informed user is not enough for me.

The 21st century is a wonderful time with great technological discoveries and developments for all kinds of people. That still means it is important to be able to do things yourself. The do-it-yourself attitude is the attitude that allows you to learn, discover and to be in control to an extent.  Many great scientist, thinkers and inventors did many things themselves. The do-it-yourself attitude has often been vital for inventions and innovation.

In short, do things yourself when you can and believe in yourself. It is worth it.