to program or be programmed – time

Hey bloggers,

Time is of the essence, yet, many of us continue to sit on our laptop and reblog One Direction pictures, sift through our friends status updates liking and commenting for the heck of it, or stalk our celebrity crushes through their tweets because…well isn’t that what a twitter is for?

We spend tons of time completing these actions and when we’ve finally had our fill, we realize hours have gone by. Hours we can never get back. Minutes of precious time no longer available due to our inability to see the control digital technology has over us.

I admit I am no stranger to the suction of digital media sites; they pull you in barely allowing you to get away for even a washroom break. I once put off watching one of my favorite television shows because 1) I was too focused on reblogging Tumblr images and 2) I knew the show would be online within an hour after it aired, so I could just watch it that way. It was okay if one of my roommates wanted to talk to me, they could text me since my phone was right next to me or better yet, they could Facebook message me, since I had that up already. I basically spent all of my time devoted to my laptop, not realizing how much time I was letting get away from me. It wasn’t until I took a time management survey in one of my psychology classes (you know, the one that asks you how many hours a day you spend doing a, b, and c), that I realized how much time I spent on the internet.

This was basically my life:

It was quite disturbing to realize such a thing, but the realization helped lessen the amount of time I spent on the internet from there on in. Every now and then I need to re-adjust the time I spend on certain social media sites, but I vow to never again give more than 8 hours a day to them.

Digital media lets us dive into a realm in which we lose a sense of time for ourselves only allowing us to give all or most of our time to media. Our smartphones are attached to our hands and we respond to every new vibration, our iPad is filled with dozens of applications that scream “play me”, our laptop contains internet browsers that let us go onto Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest to communicate with anyone and everyone, even those who live a couple of steps down the hall from us. Even our TV’s are smart and let users watch shows from Netflix and Hulu if they can’t seem to find anything captivating enough from the hundreds of channels Xfinity provides them with.

We don’t wait on digital technology. It waits on us. It’s always ready to be used and surfed.

It’s quite ridiculous when you think of it, but our lives don’t have to revolve around it. In Program or be Programmed, Rushkoff points out, “The simplest way out is to refuse to be always on. To engage with the digital…can still be a choice rather than a given.” (p. 37) Indeed, digital technology is a huge part of our life, but it tends to take away from more important things in our life. Things that used to matter to us before technology took over.

Technology has made things much more convenient, but take advantage of the personal connection rather than the virtual. Physically spend time with friends and have a real conversation, don’t just read about them in a blog, on Facebook, or in a text message.

Quit being programmed, do something productive that doesn’t involve a piece of technology.

click this picture to find out how Technology Is Ruining Your Life

How will you spend your time offline? What old habits will you re-continue? Any new habits?

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About MegMia
journalism major who brings a little optimism to a world full of pessimism.

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