Does the “Tech Down” Model Work?

Have you been following the recent New Tech City’s “Bored and Brilliant” challenge aimed at getting people (users) to amp down their time spent on apps, texting, gaming, and all manner of media usage? (In New York, go to WNYC or Channel 1, or google it). In response to their clever on-line forums, a few (low tech) thoughts:

High value communication requires deeper, slower thought than most of us are capable of in this speedy, tech-heavy, platform-weary world. I think about this when I hear people rudely flooding every public place with their very private (and often boring) talk on their newly upgraded devices. However, practically speaking, some of us need to tech UP, not down or less. We need to get up to speed for all the obvious reasons, but I’d be happy, never bored, and maybe even a little more brilliant if I never had to deal with social media platforms and their whiny offspring.

A lot of us don’t like new tech/media, but feel obligated to jump on board. And by the time the over 50 or 60 crowd catches up with the Millenials, the next thing has been invented and downloaded into our collective consciousness. Perhaps you share some the following quandaries, and if so, what do you do to address them?

  1. How do you catch up with the avalanche of new media, tech, apps, and upgrades?
  2. How do you get away with as little tech-ing as possible, given that many (especially older) people are just not that into it/addicted?
  3. Over-usage of new tech apps or i-phones can make us less brilliant at such arcane arts as conversation, writing, and spelling. How about replacing usage with, say, writing a thank you note, calling Grandma from a landline phone, or spelling words as they were intended to be spelled?
  4. Finally, before you tell all, promise to cut your texting time in half, or take a day off from i-photos, step back and ponder what your priorities are today and in the future:
  1. What did you do before the SM/tech avalanche (assuming you were born before cell phones were invented)?
  2. How is tech/media usage making you a more successful, better, or happier person, writer, etc.? Will cutting down improve or impede your life?
  3. What’s the healthy, stress-releasing balance?

Finally, what will you do with tech time saved by cutting back on emails, reading blogs and blogging about them–read a book?? Now, do tell, in any media that you like. Thanks!




About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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4 Responses to Does the “Tech Down” Model Work?

  1. Kathleen says:

    You summed it up well! I do LinkedIn and forget about twitter.

  2. sheilaklewis says:

    Thanks, I suppose whatever maximizes your goal and minimizes anxiety. And thanks for your excellent web/social media presence to lighten up the screen.

  3. NubbyP says:

    I got around to figuring out how to delete my LinkedIn account this morning. It was not easy. I had to google instructions. Same with deleting my FaceBook account a few months ago. They make it easy to join and difficult to leave. Social media. Blah.
    But I do love my “brain-extending” (as my husband calls it) iPhone! What a wonderful gadget it is.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      I will need a brain extending lesson from you. Yes, much of social media communication is blah
      and not very meaningful. That being said, it can also waste time. But every now and then it yields a surprise connection, or even a job or road to some goal, a way to connect people, which is nice. I am on the fence about it and also wonder what the studies are in terms of long term effects on our intelligence and attention spans (I suspect, not fully positive). I’d rather have a few good comments like yours, than a 1,000 twits and likes.

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