On the frivolous nature of computers

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I spend my time. More specifically, how I spend my time on social media.

To start off, here’s a breakdown of what I might be checking on my computer on a daily basis:

One.more.email.to.check…
  • 3 email accounts (and responding, usually quickly)
  • Facebook (sometimes chatting or sending messages, or just hanging around my newsfeed)
  • Twitter (not necessarily every day)
  • Pinterest (not everyday, but when I go on it’s usally for a while)
  • My Blog (writing, editing, checking stats)
  • and many other blogs I follow

After thinking about all these things that occupy my time, it hit me how much MORE I could be doing with my life instead of these things. Take this article as an example, which talks about the seriously awesome things we could be focusing on instead of Facebook.

Sure, I should check my emails. Much of my important communication happens through them. But I could check them twice a day instead of 10 times.

Facebook keeps me connected to people I don’t see everyday, so I’m not willing to chuck it out the window altogether. But what if I limited my time to actual interactions with people and reading personal updates instead of skipping around and stalking people? You know you do that too. What if we spent more time getting to know people in person? Or *GASP* writing old fashioned letters? Aren’t those the best?!?!?!

Twitter could easily be addicting, but I don’t like the format so much. I could easily get this one outta here.

Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest. This is the ultimate way to make you feel like there are a bajillion different recipes you need to make, exercises you need to try, places you need to go, crafts you need to do, cute things you have to remember, and DIY things you absolutely must try out. Guess what? You’re never going to remember it all, and it’s really just clogging up your brain and making you feel like a failure. Honestly, this is one place I have tons of fun finding new ideas on. It’s easy to spend time on. And I love finding inspiring quotes. But I think my time could be better spent learning from people I actually know, and books (which I love!). What ever happened to borrowing a cup of sugar instead of googling 10 alternatives or going to Pinterest for a solution?

My blog is different in that I can’t waste time reading stories here since I write them all. I can definitely focus my time more and brainstorm ahead of time to cut down on time. But this isn’t something I intent to stop.

Now here comes the biggie: other blogs. I have a very weird assortment of blogs that I follow. Some are much better than others. And some I just love following other people’s lives. It’s fascinating and fun, sort of like, huh, actually getting to know a person…except for the fact that it’s purely digital. I recently purged my list of blogs, and brought it down to around a whopping 30. And it’s so hard to get rid of more! Instead of reading so many, I’d like to cut the number down and consider why I follow them. If it’s for no other reason than entertainment, out the window it must go.

In this digital age, many people are suffering from the inability to connect with other people. I don’t consider myself to match that 100%, and really do try (sometimes) to limit my screen time, but I know I need to get better at how I spend my time on the computer. I need to hold myself to higher standards, and show the beauty of that to other people.

Why?

You might call modern technology freeing, but to me it’s enslaving.

“Oh, did I check that blog yet today?”

“What’s the latest on Pinterest?”

“Oh my gosh, did she say THAT on Facebook?”

Um, why do I need to care about those things? These things are not important. Changing your Facebook status will most likely not help you get to heaven, and for the most part, wasting time on the computer does not help you in becoming a better person. For many people, it actually changes you for the worse. I’m talking about wasting time, not work on the computer, or actual material out there that contributes to a better world.

When I’m technology free, I focus on things that matter more like my family, friends, and personal growth. Isn’t that a better way to live my life? Now that is a better version of freedom to me. We were made for so much more than social media updates. And really, we don’t need to know what’s going on in the lives of our seven hundred and thirty three Facebook friends, or how to make custom burlap flowers dyed with the berries from your back yard that you cut with rocks that you dug up yourself because Pinterest told you to.

That’s why I made it one of my goals to cut down on my computer time.

I’m throwing around the idea of concocting some sort of challenge for people out there who want to cut down on their computer time too. And I’m also going to give you an idea of how to do this, and more of the why. Check back soon!

9 thoughts on “On the frivolous nature of computers”

  1. I like this challenge! And we are pretty similar on our social media usage- Oh Pinterest…. the downfall of all things productive! :-p
    Really good article- thanks for that link! I agree with his list about what he could be doing instead of checking Facebook.
    I look forward to your challenge!

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    1. Oh yes to Pinterest! I was pretty good about it last school year, except for that one night I was supposed to be writing a big paper *AHEM*. Anyway, I felt compelled to consider this more after reading that article and a couple books by Matthew Kelly recently which talk all about becoming the best version of yourself. It’s quite a challenge, but like exercise (for me), I feel so much better afterward.

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  2. Okay…I accept your challenge! even though I have no idea what it is yet…. I’m really bad about getting myself off the computer when there’s other things I should be doing. I feel like I’ve spent sooo much time online this summer. Its bad. I’m accepting it now, simply because I didn’t want to. I was afraid of what it might entail (which goes to show just how much I need this challenge). I’ll be looking forward with positive dread (like when you’re about to take a bandage off and you know it will hurt but you also just really want it off) to your challenge. 🙂 But I reserve the right to be a wimp and back out.

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    1. I guess I better make the challenge up then 😉

      It’s SO easy to waste time on the computer, but I just can’t over the fact that I should be doing so much more with my time (and my life). Thankfully I don’t have any games I play online, but it’s all just noise. Teresa Tomeo has a book out titled just that, and it was a good look at the role technology plays in our lives. Matthew Kelly’s books have really challenged me to live my life differently too, and this is part of it. I see it sort of like exercise: the sweating and actually doing it sucks (sort of like a band-aid), but the result is so worth it. Can’t wait to do this with you!

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