I live most hours of my days with a screen of some sort in front of my face. The main one is my MacBook Air, but my iPhone is really high up there, with my Kindle and iPad always there when the other two aren’t. I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, I live and die by my technology. They provide so much richness and value to my life that living without them is almost the same as not living at all.1 On the other hand, though, I know I’m missing so much of life by isolating myself in front of these various sized screens. There’s people to meet, places to see, life to live. I don’t know. I didn’t intend to write this today because I had a really productive day today spent in front of my screens.
Do you guys know about the Pomodoro technique? It’s this productivity technique where you set a timer for 25 minutes, you focus and your work, and when the timer goes off, you read for 5 minutes. That 30 minute block is called a Pomodoro. If you do four pomodoro’s in a row, that’s two hours of focused work you could get done. I adapted this today with 45 minute focus time and 15 minute breaks, and after two of these, I get a 30 minute break. I wanted to do 4 of these today, which would’ve translated into 3 hours of work interspersed with breaks that lasted 90 minutes. I didn’t get those 4 pomodoro’s, but I did get 3, and I did get a lot accomplished. Mostly long-lingering computer tasks that have been on my mind for a long time. I’m glad I finished some projects and started others. I felt really accomplished, and I hope to take this momentum into tomorrow.
I don’t know if I’m willing to take a somewhat regular technology sabbatical. I don’t even know if I want to. My summer’s are when I go out into nature and fight fires, and that’s my yearly technology sabbatical. I don’t know if I want to do it when I don’t have to. Is that wrong? Is that just part of our generation? I wonder how people felt when everything was lit up with lightbulbs for the first time. Did people yearn for the dark? Or the light from a candle? Now people freak out when blackouts happen. Take away my phone, and I’ll guarantee I’ll freak out. That’s a scary thought to think about. What is it about these devices that makes us so dependent on them?
They do everything. I can do almost everything I’m interested in with these devices. From working to learning to entertainment, I can do a great deal. It’s what I use to write these blog entries, and I don’t know if I would be the person I am today if I didn’t use my laptop to write these entries. These devices are part of my life, and they help me lead a fulfilling life. I don’t know what I’ll do without them.2