Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Life - Set Time Aside

Life - Set Time Aside

I have a smart phone.  I have a smart phone of the latest brand, and quality, running the latest operating system.  I have a smart phone that hooks up to a bluetooth headset that I can control with the sound of my voice, and I'm teaching it to respond to my eye movements (the galaxy s3 is a wonder).  I have a computer that is always on, and a myriad of very specific, encrypted ways to get into it from wherever I am so I can access my data, be they pictures, or music, or algorithms, save files, programs, utilities.

I am as digitally connected to the world as possible, in almost every way.  I can skim news articles, I read considerably more than 100 pages a day in information, I run two monitors on my desk and both have two browser windows on them with more than 10 tabs at any given time.  I listen to music, compose, watch video, write, read news, discuss events with friends, and write my ideas, all at the same time.  I multitask, and technology helps me do it.

I use technology.

I don't let it use me.

I set time aside in my day to use technology.  I don't feel particularly compelled to answer an email as it comes in, I don't answer my phone when I don't feel like it, I don't even read the myriad of text messages that come in every day when I don't feel like it.  And I get upwards of 300 text messages a day.  But I myself only write about 10.

I get information, I'm an infograph, I use 4 websites for news, I watch digital metrics and see the ebb and flow of information around the world in real time.  I watch the emotions of the human condition and study the patterns because they're beautiful, and lonely.  I like knowing, and if ever there are moments when I don't know something, I know that at my fingertips, through my phone, or my headset, or my computer, or any other system of technology before me that I can learn.  I empower myself to learn what I want to know, the things that I don't know are accessible and constrained only by my own curiosity.

No one can tell me information isn't for me.  It's readily available for the taking.

But I reiterate.  I use technology.

I don't let it use me.

I don't check facebook at the dinner table, I certainly barely even read text messages when I'm out with friends (as people who are trying to get a hold of me can attest to).  I don't feel compelled or confined by my knowledge seeking.  My curiosity is just that, curiosity...not addiction.  I am empowered to learn, not compelled to be dully impacted for tiny information highs

I set time aside to read and respond to emails.  I don't just respond to everything that comes in when it comes in, I don't think it's healthy for us to wait with baited breath for points of contact to 'notify' us that they are coming in.  We should go out and search for human contact, and not leave it in convenient places for our friends and family to find at their leisure.

I think a lot of people in today's world are having trouble with being 'connected'.  That it's too consuming to be so readily accessible, that they are having trouble dealing with being 'on call' all the time, at someone else's beck and call, that they have no personal space or moments of sublime silence.  Maybe it's why yoga is so big these days. 

There are two ideas here in this blog post, and maybe I don't know how to separate them to make more sense.