The American editor, founder of The Mission resource Chad Grylls believes that people are becoming slaves to gadgets and social media. In his blog on Medium, he told how to learn how to manage technologies and turn them to your advantage.
Technology helps us keep up more and at the same time spend less effort. They are neutral themselves. So it’s up to us to decide how to use them. As a student, I benefited from the technologies a lot, since I could pay someone to write my research paper for me.
It is not necessary to establish any complicated rules on this score. Just honestly and objectively answer the question, does this gadget or service make you happier and more productive? If so, feel free to continue using it. If not, take a break from it.
The main thing is to remember one key rule: we must be the masters of technology. “Being the master” in this case means choosing, using, and controlling the right devices that contribute to our productivity or make us a better version of ourselves.
Curation, filtering, and synthesis – will help you use the technology correctly
This means regulating, adding, rejecting, and testing the technology we use to understand what it brings to life. For example, you can’t install apps on the Kindle, so we only read what we were going to and don’t get distracted. Or, for example, we carefully choose which mailing lists to subscribe to.
The most important idea of this approach is that to justify the use of new technology or service, we must be able to measure the opportunities that they open up to us, or how they help us become who we want to become.
Having thoroughly considered what devices and services we will leave in our lives, we can start using other technologies to create barriers that will filter everything we consume.
This way of thinking will help to develop the rule “never use a gadget without a clear intention.” It will help to control spontaneous impulses to mindlessly pick up the phone when we are bored.
We can also resort to simple filtering mechanisms on computers like Rescue Time to turn off the Internet while we work. There are other filters, for example, Feedly – an application for reading RSS news. Such mechanisms do not allow us to get lost in the Internet noise and get distracted.
People as curators and filters
One of the benefits of living in an interconnected world is that the best content is curated for us. There are people, websites, and opinion leaders who are looking for useful information and present it to us. This is a huge plus. If we find reliable sources for content that interests us, we won’t need to spend more time and effort searching for something new.
Why is it important to learn how to filter the information we receive through digital devices? The fact is that we all have limited willpower during the day. Dr. Kelly McGonigal explains that when we get distracted while working, we gradually waste the willpower designed to make decisions. This means that we reduce the ability to concentrate and do what matters. By using filters and curation sources, we can keep the willpower for really important decisions.
Synthesis is the process of using technologies that helps you focus on the right resources and information. It encourages us to look for those specific pieces of information, thanks to which we can fill in the gaps in skills. The goal is to synthesize every interaction with technology and use it to achieve the desired results.
How to control the use of gadgets
The Rescue Time application allows you to turn on and off the Internet on your computer for a certain amount of time. I like to use the app on days when I’m writing articles and don’t want to be tempted to look at something on the internet. When we control the Internet on devices, we make a conscious choice about how and when to use it.
Useful methods that help me control the use of my smartphone and laptop:
At night, before I go to bed, I create a to-do list for the next day.From this list, I choose the three most important classes. The essence of the idea is that if I manage to cope with only these three cases, I am still making progress towards the goal I want to achieve.The next day, before I log on to the Internet and even touch the phone, I begin to perform these three tasks. No distractions until I’m done with them.This is an easy way to achieve the desired results.
How to use technology for good
If you are learning something or trying to get into a new activity, subscribe to useful resources related to this topic. The easiest way to do this is with Feedly. This application collects all the news from the sites you are interested in one place: just add them to the list.
The best way to expand your capabilities with the help of technology is to set up social media accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn. In certain industries, the use of Medium will also be very useful.
These accounts allow us to capitalize and create opportunities where we use technology and not the other way around. If you don’t have a personal website yet, don’t worry. It can be replaced by LinkedIn, which will become the center of your online presence and the place where your resume is stored, and Twitter – a more specific generator of opportunities.
By investing a little time in creating and improving social media accounts, we can get huge benefits. These include new friends, business connections, job offers, and help. You need to interact with others, send cold emails, write articles and attach them to platforms.
LinkedIn: If you are looking for jobs and opportunities, this is the right place to start. Recruiters in search of candidates browse LinkedIn every day.
LinkedIn will help you make new and useful acquaintances. Also, pay attention to the LinkedIn publishing platform. It is still at the initial stage of development, and right now is a great time to start writing articles about your industry. Most likely, it will grow in the future. Getting involved now is a great way to generate opportunities and make acquaintances.
If you need a job, make sure that your LinkedIn account looks neat and you have posted a resume. Then, on the LinkedIn publishing platform, write an article titled “Ten Things I didn’t mention in my resume.” Describe everything in it – the stories and decisions that shaped your character.
You can write another article “Ten reasons why I am ready to work at (company name)”, where you will tell what benefits you can bring to a new employer. Or something like “Ten Ways to Boost Sales for (company name)”. This way you will stand out from other candidates and be able to find new opportunities.
Medium: Here you can write about a certain industry and publish these articles for a wide audience. This is a good alternative to posting on LinkedIn and is probably more useful for those interested in startups, technology, design, art, or journalism.
Personal website: There is no need to start this from the very beginning, it makes sense only for certain creative professions (artists, designers, or developers). It shows the confirmation of skills. To create a website, you can use numerous designers.
All these platforms that I mentioned can become generators of opportunities only if they are used correctly. As soon as you signed up for LinkedIn, you adopted a new worldview and decided to expose yourself to good things. Now you will be able to attract new opportunities without putting a lot of effort into them.