An Alternative to Tech Unplugging? Reduce and Simplify.

February 5, 2012

I've been thinking a lot about my friend Monica Guzman's post about unplugging from technology. If you know Moni, you know how connected she is—both personally and for work. She knows a lot of people and is always in communication with people. She completely unplugs from technology on Sundays. This post is not to disagree with Monica, but present an alternative. It is up to you the person to decide what is right for you.What I do? Reduce and Simplify.For a long time I used to feel overwhelmed by technology. The question I ask myself now, "am I overwhelming myself with the amount of technology around me?" You're talking to a guy who literally sleeps with three devices on his bed. Ah, the life of a designer. My daily technological devices consists of: MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Kindle, iPad 2 and a Saumsung Galaxy Tab on the way.Technology is all around me. Unlike Monica, my job isn't necessarily dependent on technology. I can simply shut it off at any point I'd like without severely affecting my work. What I've learned:Reduce the noiseFor me, it's not the technology that is overwhelming me, it is the amount I am consuming. Some things I have done to remedy this:

  • Install certain applications on devices. I recently deleted the Twitter app on my work computer and only have them installed on my "play devices" to make sure I am focused throughout the day.
  • Select moments to reply. Nobody is going to die (unless they really are) if I don't respond to their tweet or Facebook message.
  • Follow less people/sites. I'm following 900 people on Twitter! I have no one to blame but myself when I feel overwhelmed. Trust me, your Twitter friends will not get derezzed and die if you unfollow them. Although some people take it as you dishonoring them and 5 generations of their family at the Shaolin Temple, it is okay to unfollow. Some of my IRL friends have unfollowed me. Hell, sometimes I want to unfollow myself!

As Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple wisely says, "The choice is yours and yours alone", you must decide what works best for you.When I feel overwhelmed, I reduce and simplify.