2 min read

Technology, Guilt, and the Olympics

Today’s communication technologies – including cell phones, e-mail, and blogs – can drive users to a heavy sense of guilt. If I were to try and put my finger on it, I’d say it is because we live in a “fast food” culture, where instant gratification is not expected, it is demanded.

But instant access was not necessarily the motivating factor behind the development of these technologies. The point of a cell phone is to give greater mobility for the person making the calls. A byproduct is that mobility can benefit the caller too, because there is a higher likelihood the call will be received.

Blogging removes the constraints of needing to be tech savvy to put information on the web. The point of a blog is to provide a tool for people to easily publish thoughts when they have something to share. Blogs benefit readers because they can encounter new ideas and voices previously unavailable.

Instant gratification changes things though. If someone calls your cell, they expect you to answer it or to call them back immediately. They know you have it with you and that you are doing nothing more important at the momentum of their call – you are just screening them.

Same thing with blogging. In the unlikely event that you are lucky enough to have a consistent and loyal readership, that readership expects you to continually generate new content no matter what the circumstances – and at no cost to them. And oh yeah, they can unsubscribe or give up visiting your site at any moment, so if you suddenly bore them or don’t meet their rigorous content schedule, sayonara.

Over holidays, bloggers will often write content in advance and have it auto-published. Either that or they get guest bloggers to come in and write on their blogs, so they won’t go down in the rankings.

But such a mindset just doesn’t make sense. We need to begin to reclaim the original purposes of technology and that doesn’t include it or the people behind it, to run our lives.

So, I’m doing something bold – in a matter of hours, I will depart for the Olympics for a much needed vacation. My blog will remain completely dormant during that time. No auto-publishing, no guest blogging, no new content. My work e-mail will be left untouched and I won’t be taking calls. As a matter of fact, I’m going to do my best to go as offline as possible (minus personal e-mail communication to family).

And guess what, I’m not going to feel guilty about any of it. That’s not to say that I don’t care about you, my loyal readers. In fact, I am pleased to write that as of this post, I have the highest number of RSS subscribers I’ve seen to date.

If you are willing to sit tight for 10 days or so, great. But if you decide you need to move onto greener pastures, I won’t hold you back.

Technology complements life – it doesn’t supplement it. I don’t live to blog – I blog about living (or in this case, technology).

See you soon,

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