How watching TV, surfing the the Web, and playing with your Smartphone can be real

The official slogan of is “Do more real stuff,” and one of the tenets of that belief is that much of our technology use is a less “real” pursuit than other more natural, human experiences.

But not always.  Use the following signposts to help evaluate your technology use and see if how they line up with your experience.  Disclaimer:  None of this advice is rooted in research or any actual expertise — don’t start looking for footnotes.   It’s just my point of view.

Spending time with technology like the Web and TV can be very real if by doing so:

  • you are earning a living.  That’s a no brainer;  if it’s your job, you needn’t think twice about the value of what you’re doing with your high-tech gadgetry.  That said, you might reflect on the satisfaction and personal reward you get from your job.
  • you are learning.  Again, no problem.  Knowledge is good, and technology is fantastic for the wealth of information and skills that can be obtained — frequently for free.
  • you are creating.  Technology in this case is a tool with which you create something else — it may be something artistic, literary, political.  You may be creating social change or creating solutions to problems facing the world.

There are more categories, I’m sure, where technology use absolutely counts as something “real.”  Their use only becomes troubling if it is ALL you do or interferes with your living a full, human, real life.

Thanks for reading.  Do more real stuff.  Comments welcome.