What I Learned From My Broken Computer

What I Learned From My Broken Computer

Don't rely on a fragile device.
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July and August of 2016 were exciting months. I began drafting my first novel (still unfinished), got my first smartphone, took a trip down the Oregon and California coasts, got my first computer, and started college. Yay!

As you see, I've only had my own personal computer for about 20 months. In that time, I've used it extensively for schoolwork, writing, and, yes, social media. Without realizing it, I quickly became attached to the sleek silver clamshell. Much of what was important to me was done through my computer.

It was great.

Let me emphasize "was". Just a couple weeks ago, my keyboard and trackpad more or less stopped working, and I haven't been able to get it fixed yet. I can kind of do stuff with an external keyboard plugged in, but the trackpad is stuck on right-click, which is a challenge. None of this is conducive to working on homework (or anything else) efficiently.

I never knew how much I relied on my computer until I couldn't use it anymore. I was so used to having my own computer that I took it for granted. Now, I must be intentional about my computer usage, since I either borrow my mom's computer or use the computer labs at school. I can't just casually flip it open and poke through Facebook.

A while ago, I deleted Facebook from my phone because I realized that it was too much of a temptation for wasting time. Surely I wouldn't spend as much time on social media if I was only logged in on my computer. I was wrong, of course.

The internet is unequivocally a major distraction. It's so easy to say I'm just going to check if there's any important communication, but that quickly turns into a half hour of mindlessly wandering Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt. When it wasn't social media, I'd be looking up news about upcoming Star Wars and Avengers movies, or browsing through old pictures in my library.

Let me make something clear: I did not throw all of my wasted time to entirely brainless pursuits. My computer had pseudo-productive ways for me to fritter away the hours. I would get worldbuilding ideas for a potential and spend a while typing and researching, or maybe work on updating my campus bird list. While these things are not wrong in and of themselves, they are a problem when they interfere with my responsibilities.

Now that my access to computers is more limited, I am forced to be much more careful with how I spend my time on the computer. A much greater proportion of my computer time these days is actually productive, compared to when I freely opened my computer whenever I wanted to. Overall, I'm also spending less time on the computer.

The results have been mostly positive, I think. The reduced screen time is great for my eyes. I rediscovered the joy of writing stories by hand, and I've had more time to read. Except for when I have urgent assignments, I'm not on the computer late at night, which is good for helping me fall asleep. And as I already said, I'm becoming more efficient with my computer.

Unfortunately, I still procrastinate like nobody's business. It just takes different forms now. For example, I spent an hour and a half reading a novel when I should have been showering, studying, and getting ready for bed. I play games with my sister. Again, these things are wonderful, but only when I'm not putting off responsibility.

Time management is a completely different issue from computer attachment, which has finally sunk in. Okay, I know not to rely on computers so much anymore. That's a good thing. The habit of procrastination will take longer to break, since it's been with me for as long as I can recall, plus my prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed yet.

But hey, I'm making progress. With God's grace, I will continue to mature and learn how to handle my inclination to laziness. Breaking my attachment to my computer was a strong first step.

Cover Image Credit: montillon.a (via Flickr)

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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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If You Post These 16 Things On Social Media, Can You Just Not?

The rest of the world doesn't care, I'm sorry.

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Honestly, we all have that one friend that posts every single detail of their life on social media. Whether it's good, bad, ugly or even straight up disgusting. To be honest we've all done it, but it needs to stop at some point, I'm saying if you're no longer a teenager yo need to cut the sh*t. Not every little thing needs to be shared with the world. So let me help you out, here's 16 things you should absolutely never post on your social media pages, and if you already do, please do everyone a favor and STOP!!

1. Your sex life...in detail and in general.

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Honestly I don't care how many times you and your significant other had sex last night, or where you did it. Thanks but no f******* thanks.

2. Anything about your bodily fluids.

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Seriously no one cares how much you puked or about your heavy flow.

3. Pictures of you attacking your baes face.

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We're not 12 so we all know what goes on in a relationship.

4. Pictures of you in bed with your bae.

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Once again we know what you just did, you don't need to show us.

5. A pregnancy the second you find out about it.

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Congratulations, but make it out of the "safe zone" first. But super happy for you.

6. Screenshots of your beef with somebody.

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You're making it worse for yourself and making yourself look dumb. Nobody thinks immaturity is funny anymore.

7. Screenshots of you and your baes conversations.

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Cool, they said something sweet to you. Wow, guess what, I get messages like that too but I don't post it.

8. Duplicates of the same pictures over and over.

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Cool, you wanna share it again a while after you post it, fine. You want to share it 50+ times in a month and a half, NO!!

9. Details about your "special" events.

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Okay so get this, Iowkey crashed a wedding with my mom because we saw every single detail about it online. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Mind you we didn't lowkey crash it once, but we did it twice, and I have picture proof of it too...and no one even saw us.

10. You complaining about the same thing over and over again.

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It isn't going to bring awareness to anything. Example me quitting my job and letting everyone know about the crazy sh*t that goes in that store, there was a reason but if there isn't a reason, DON"T POST IT. Okay McDonald's forgot your ranch dressing once out the 359782358 times you been there....,did you die though?!

11. Speaking of work, we don't care when or how long your shifts are.

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Go to work, clock in, do your job and then clock out.

12. Anything racist, sexist...actually anything considered bullying.

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This might be consider bullying to some people but I'm doing this with good intentions, not to make somebody feel like crap on purpose.

13. Political rants/opinions that are just going to cause drama.

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If you can agree to disagree and not come at the person you don't like a mature way, STOP. Also, if you aren't registered to vote, I don't want to hear it, your opinion doesn't matter since you didn't act on it.

14. Your location 25/8.

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Why does everyone always need to know exactly where you are? We aren't your mom. Post about it alter.

15. People, especially children and babies, or animals being physically abused.

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Spreading violence isn't okay at all.

16. A picture or video of any person or animal that is no longer living.

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My friend was telling me about a person that he knew who made a public post of a baby that she lost pre-mature, she dressed her up and everything. Very sad to see and my heart goes out to her but why? (and this wasn't a post with a longer story behind it either, it just said the baby name and how much she weighed.)

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