Thursday, April 4, 2002

So. Brennen has undergone tech burnout. He’s seen that “the shiny tech machine isn’t what I thought it was or wanted it to be,” as he put it.

I feel that I understand where he’s coming from. I’ve been slowly coming to a similar realization, though neither as suddenly nor as strongly as Brennen has. I’ve been slowly realizing that computers are fine, but they’re awfully easy to pour yourself in to. I found myself wanting to be a net.god, posting constantly to various communities and just generally becoming one with the net, or some such nonsense. That’s all hollow. To quote Brennen, “the world really is bigger and more complicated than I thought it was. There’s more things that matter than I thought there were, and lots of things that can’t be seen from where I was standing.”

Light, do I want to see Brennen become a writer.

In any event, the last section of Brennen’s post deals with his reaction to these realizations. He dismisses skills that I believe are far more considerable than he realizes, but that’s neither here nor there. He ends with a dilemma: he doesn’t want to abandon the friends he’s made (presumably me, Saalon, and others), and who are “bent on doing something with all this stuff.”

What should he do? I think he can put technolgy in its proper place in his life, without abandonding it. He can still use computers; he’ll just need to prioritize his time, so that he only uses the computer for those activities that are important to him: online communication, school work, and maybe some of that creative writing he’s been talking about. It’s like an addiction to food: you don’t abandon eating; you learn when to say “no.” I, for one, am still learning when to say “no” to my computer.

One pleasant side effect of this practice is that it opens up more free time. For my part, I can waste innumerable hours in front of a computer. They’re amazing time-wasters, especially when one has no parameters on when one is acting productively. However, if I’ve put my computer usage in its proper place, and I force myself to walk away from the computer whenever I don’t have a use for it, suddenly I have a lot more time to devote to other pursuits.

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