2020 and 2021 have changed our habits. And technology has been a double-edged sword, simultaneously making things more accessible and more complex. Here is what I plan to do to make better use of technology daily.
2020 has been a strange year, and 2021 has followed it. But I was fortunate. I have always worked from home, and wherever I could find an internet connection, my work was not interrupted. In many ways, with my esteemed team at ZDNet, I was in an excellent position to advise and guide individuals and businesses in the transition to telecommuting, as this is what we have been doing – very efficiently and productively – for many years.
Here is a list of my technological projects to set up in this particular context to continue on this path.
Better Compartmentalize Social Media
Social networks, and more particularly Twitter, are a wasteland. The problems started with Justin Bieber fans, but chauvinistic politics on both sides of the Atlantic and then savage conspiracy theories on 5G and Covid-19 finished it. Lies, misinformation and, frankly, scum and nonsense have made its wasteland.
If I want to keep my Facebook / Twitter / Instagram accounts, I better plan to make them my own. Follow and interact with people who uplift my soul, knowing how to cut when needed. Life is too short to argue with people whose purpose is to argue.
I could say a lot more about the evils of social media, but I’ll stop there.
No More Breaks Away From Screens
It’s hard for me to get away from the screens without radically changing what I do. The screens themselves don’t make me miserable, but I do feel a difference when I move away from them for a long time. I have noticed that when I spend a day working with my hands or in nature, my brain has a different quality. It’s good for me. I’ll give it more time.
I also like going out in the morning with my cup of coffee and spending some quiet time each evening, leaving the phone behind me either way. I move the screens away when I eat when I have a conversation or 30 minutes before bed. This is what I call “screenless moments.” These are small things, yes, but good ways to disconnect. Likewise, longer breaks, breaks of a few days away from screens, really put my mind back in place. I come back sharper and more focused, and I can do more things than if I hadn’t taken a break.
I used to think of breaks as a waste of time. I was wrong. Breaks are more complex in this pandemic, and I know that many are running out of space at home or in nature, and leaving is not an option. But even a few days of changing my routine helps.
My Kindle is the perfect tool for this. No social media, no messaging app, no games, no browser. Just me, my books and my audiobooks. I will use it even more.
I am also a heavy user of YouTube and have just purchased a YouTube Premium subscription. And I see the difference. No ads, and the ability to have YouTube in the background. It’s awesome.
Yeah, okay, I know there are ways around YouTube ads to get around, but I find the content people upload worth paying for. I put up with the ads, and now I am paying for them to disappear. It’s a fair trade that allows me to sleep at night.
Last year, I approached winter with a weight goal. But I intend to use technological tools more seriously to track my workouts, my weight, etc.
It’s something that works for me, makes me feel good, and that I find motivating, but I know it doesn’t work for everyone.
Find Yourself In Nature
Take pictures, fly my drone, sturdy test equipment. I will use all possible excuses to enjoy nature more often.
Move Every Hour
Get up and move more during the day. Walk, have a cup of coffee, meet your loved one, do push-ups or pull-ups.
Anything to break your usual routine and vary your day.
Create More Links With The Outside World
Despite my talk on social media, I met some good people there. I’m quite an introvert overall, but I intend to make new connections with great people and deepen my relationships with my existing friends and colleagues, which I have neglected until then.