I’m all for technology. In fact, I love technology. I’ve scrapped my written task list for an electronic, web-based version which I can never lose or misplace. And that’s just one of the functions I use my third generation iPad for. Overall, it has made me a more efficient wife and mother; I can shop for my weekly groceries, book next day delivery for clothes and manage the finances at the bank, all at the swipe of a finger. Technology can serve me like the spinach Popoye digests, by enhancing my super human abilities. On the other hand, if I use it with no real intention to be more than what I am today, it makes a terrible master.
I looked at it in detail and realised that these five things are how technology strips us from our super human abilities:
1. We do what everyone else is doing
The internet is like a never ending newspaper. It seems to endlessly broadcast messages in the hopeful attempt to grab our attention and hold on to it forever, like a girlfriend who knows she’s quickly becoming the ex, but desperately wants to hold on to the relationship.
Videos, photos and text are our eye candy and serves to tantalise our primary visual cortex. The problem is we receive both Wall Street Journal type messages, whilst coming across trashy, celebrity gossip pages which are both in competition for our hearts. Therefore, we end up doing what everyone else is doing; checking our emails, updating our status’, looking at our friends photos, reading pages upon web pages and before you know it, hours have passed and the day is over.
2. We are too easily accessible
Talking is good. It allows us to relate to people, especially those we love and admire, but ‘being part of the conversation’ can at times be counter productive. Being accessible on Facebook Chat, Google Hangouts, What’s App, BBM and the ancient mobile telephone all at the same time is a bit much. Sure, if I want to reach you, I will try all of the above but you will only get me on one or two at most.
It becomes more apparent to me that there is a time for everything. There is a time to study and there is a time to relax and kick back with friends. It’s just remembering how to portion out that time, so that each day brings us closer to the life we dream of having.
3. We are distracted by so many things
I have noticed my acute inability to stay focused on one thing without fighting the temptation to switch to something different. Generally, each time something pops into my head, I do one of two things; I either switch to start that task and get it over with, or I write it down on my task list.
Sometimes we are our own distraction. If I knew what I know now ten years ago, I would have used more time to prepare for my future; to keep on improving and learning, instead of being whisked off and imprisoned on a land where binary and HTML rule.
4. We spend less time planning
The internet requires us to constantly take in information. I find it great for research purposes, but it tampers with my need to switch off and plan for the forthcoming day. It’s a daily battle, but I always become more effective when I have thought through my day in detail. If I am in the middle of chaos and I’m running late for appointments, it’s usually because I didn’t set aside time to plan, or because I was busy watching Justin Bieber on YouTube.
Remember our time is all we have. Each day we exchange that time for something else. See to it that you exchange yours for a life better than what you’re living now.
I would love to hear about some of things you get distracted by whether it’s on your tablet, laptop or smartphone. Or do you find your time on the internet can help relieve a very stressful day? Let me know your thoughts.