Technology Is Not an End (part 2)
Technology and the Internet especially let us work faster and more efficiently than ever before. Thanks to them, we can chat with people from around the world instantly. We can read and learn about anything in a matter of seconds. We can download a full length movie that took years to create... in roughly 10 minutes.
With technology, men walked on the Moon. That same moon you see every night far up in the sky. With technology, we put a rover on Mars. Man, think about it. There is an unmanned machine doing its thing on a planet 200 million kilometers away, on which none of us have ever stepped onto.
To summarize, I'll use this post from Chris Pirillo, which explains why we should embrace technology: "Efficiency, connectivity, productivity, and comfortability. Also, gadgets are cool!!!"
However, as noted in part I of "Technology is not an end", it is far easier to embrace technology but use it the wrong way, wasting our time and the time of others, while not creating anything good. That is because technology is always expanding. There will never be an end to what technology can achieve, especially when it comes to the Internet.
There will always be a new YouTube video. A new tweet. A new gadget. A new trend to follow. A new operating system. A new scientific advance. A new everything. It is time to stop using technology (and the Internet especially) as an end. Time to turn it into a means to reach goals and become better.
I'm mostly writing this post for myself, as a way to write down the ideal way I would use technology. These new "rules" and goals will guide the way towards a mindful usage of technology. Here it goes.
I'll have to have a valid reason to use my laptop before turning it on (homework issue, daily Duolingo, writing for this blog). When the task is complete and/or the goal is reached, I will turn the computer off.
I will turn my laptop off completely when not needed (instead of leaving turned on all the time like I currently do). I will then store it in a place where it is not prominent. I may inspire myself from Leo Babauta's technique of breaking the day down in 30-minutes chunks.
I will not use my laptop after 9 o'clock, nor will I take it in bed with me in the morning.
I will not tinker around the looks of my computer. I don't care if it's pretty, I just want it to get things done.
Wikipedia, Duolingo, Codecademy and Khan Academy are my friends.
I will stop site surfing mindlessly. For example, I'm not even registered on Reddit and still visit the damn site multiple times every day. Same goes for Hacker News, Gmail, Wordpress, and my local news website. There's so many things I could do instead of that! When I realize I site surf, I will shut everything down and pick up a book or do some homework.
This list is not finite and I may very well expand it later on. I'll admit that I could probably write "Internet is not an end" instead of "Technology is not an end", but still, there are some of my rules that aren't related to using the Internet.
- A Simple Guide for a Mindful Digital Life
- How to Quit Wasting Time on the Internet
- 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Time Surfing the Web
I will now go and read a book. I invite you to do the same.