Are You Sure You Want to Use That?

GearI’ve spent the evening thinking about the complications that technology introduces to our lives. The subject came to mind while trying to wrest a few months[1] of life from my parents seven year old MacBook. I’ll upgrade the RAM and install the newest version of OSX that I can[2]. I’m not optimistic.

My family purchased our first computer when I was 5. It was a Hewlett Packard[3] and ran Windows 3.1. It had less hard drive space than the phone sitting on my desk. I imagine it cost more than my car.

I’m not writing this to earn computer street cred. I’m not saying Dig Dug droping rocks on monster’s changed the course of my life[4] or that I’m the greatest family tech to walk the earth. My point is far more philosophical and pretentious than that.

My Horrible Attention Span

How often do I allow myself to get distracted from my work or family or friends? A lot of times it’s for a good reason: My mom needs help getting her computer back into working condition. But I can’t spend the whole weekend staring at a display waiting for an OS installation. I’d be wasting time that I could be spending with her[5].

Think it Through

It might be worth taking some time to examine the technology you use. Think about the kitchen gadgets cluttering your cabinets. The set-top boxes covering your TV stand. The devices you carry with you. The apps clotting your home screens.

Does the time you spend with these things add value to your life? Are they just sitting around, wasting space? I’m often distracted from the things that do add value to my own life.

Intentional

I’ve kept coming back to the word intentional over the past few weeks. It’s a popular word right now. I’m glad it’s drawn some attention. Intentional means that we do things with purpose. That we make our decisions with forethought, understanding the implications and ramifications.

Intentional means we think things through before we do them. As you sift through the tech in your life, be intentional. Understand the purpose of the technology you’re using if it doesn’t fit, cut it. I bet you’ll find a dozen worthwhile things to replace it.

Have you ever had to cut back the overgrowth of tech in your life? What things made the cut? What didn’t?


  1. Maybe years, but I doubt it.  ↩

  2. Lion, if you were curious.  ↩

  3. This was the company that would change their name to HP. Yes, it was a long time ago.  ↩

  4. It’s possible. A more likely candidate for that honor is XCOM: Terror From the Deep, though. Man, I love that game. The recent XCOM is super-good too.  ↩

  5. My parents live in Mexico, so I do have limited time. Sleep may be the loser this coming weekend. There’s a computer to work on and a parent to spend time with.  ↩