"taking a vacation from the computer too?"

August 22nd, 2007

This is a question you're likely to hear from friends or relatives, notably those who don't know a whole lot about computers. It annoys me, because it's such a stupid question. So. You're on vacation. Does that mean you're taking a vacation from the computer too? Sigh. It's like saying. "So, you're on vacation, does that mean you're taking a break from books?" Yeah, as if books were only ever useful in school right. Or how about take a break from your car, because you're not working this month. Yeah, that should score you some points at the Most Pointless Statements awards.

It's annoying, because what it implies, that is if you're not saying it explicitly, is I think you're spending too much time on that computer. Yeah, as if what you're doing is so much more worthwhile. A myth, that's what it is. So what do you do with your time? Spend an extra half hour in the bathroom every day fixing your hair? Cooking fancy meals? Watching tv? Hanging at the mall? Reading books? I would not trade for any of that, in fact I've optimized my time to get the the maximum time doing what I find the most useful. And if you don't agree, tough.

What people don't seem to get is that a computer and a network is good for more than typing an essay. Five hours spent watching tv, and five hours spent at a computer are very different things. With tv you're just a recipient, and you can't decide what you're watching. A computer and the net gives you the possibility to get in touch with people, to learn stuff you want to know, to work, to read, to be creative, and to be entertained. What you choose to make of it is the relevant question, but personally I use it for all the above and much more.

Yes, I should be getting more exercise, that I agree with. And so should you. We should all be getting more exercise, because few people actually do that. In fact, I was getting a lot of exercise when I was a teenager, because people were into that. Now it's really hard to get people to do that with you, cause no one cares about it anymore.

And not only that, we should all be reading fine literature, learning music composition, practicing yoga, attending the opera, and solving math equations for fun. Better, smarter, healthier. But you're not doing any of those, either. You're just wasting more time on menial tasks. What we are and what we want to be are always going to be far apart, because achieving things is hard, but wishing for them is really easy. Fine, you waste your time over there, I'll waste my time over here.

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1 Responses to ""taking a vacation from the computer too?""

  1. erik says:

    Don't agree about all of this, particularly the television part. But this:

    "in fact I’ve optimized my time to get the the maximum time doing what I find the most useful. And if you don’t agree, tough."

    That hits the nail right on the head. People can be so obnoxious with these things, telling you what they think you should be doing. Go annoy someone else with your trivial opinions on time well spent.