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Digital (in)efficiency

October 29, 2009
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Computers are supposed to make our lives easier.  They are smarter and can multi task better than we could ever imagine.  They follow instructions to the T, or the 1 as it were.  So why do computers suck so much time out of my day?

My family had an early Machintosh computer.  My only memories was of playing connect the dots.  Even as I got older, I only used my computer to play the Sims or Rollercoaster Tycoon (I recently resurrected this and proceeded to throw away 5 hours of my life.  I then deleted it from my computer.)  Of course, I would occasionally use it for school, but even at school we would play games under the auspices of education.  Since my birth, computers have only been  games to me.

In college, my computer is my best friend.  I use it for school work, music, entertainment, communication.  It crashed my freshman year (or more accurately, I spilled a bottle of water on it.  Oops.), and leading to a computer-less week.  It was the longest week of my life.

People claim that losing a cell phone or computer is liberating.  They are wrong.  It is debilitating.

Other than for research or word processing, I have seen few improvements in the quality of my education from computers.  Many students

(mainly Mac users) bring their computers to class, ostensibly to take notes.  I recommend that you sit in the back row of a lecture, you will


find that most students are not taking notes, but checking Facebook or gchatting or surfing the

internet.  Interestingly, it is also incredible how much you can learn about someone just by glancing are their computer screens.

Even though computers have limitless possibilities/abilities,  how many of these do we actually need?  With all the good comes the distraction.

Granted, I would never give up my computer (don’t even try to make me), but perhaps I should step away from it sometimes — or at the very least, go offline.

For the record, I take my notes the old fashioned way: pen and paper :).


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