Setting an Intention with Technology

At the beginning of many yoga sessions you’ll hear the instructor prompt you to set an intention for the practice. It’s not typically a physical goal as much as a spiritual thought: “I am focused.” or “I am strong.” A few months ago I found myself needing to set an intention of a different sort: for my computer.

After a long and productive life, my laptop began to die. Slowly at first, but then with overwhelming acceleration until I decided it was time to get a new one. I needed several weeks to save up, so I would have to go without for awhile. And oh, did it refresh my appreciation for technology.

I still had my phone to check email and manage important tasks. In fact, I easily go a couple days without using my computer at all normally. But the luxury of having it available at all times was one that disappeared during those weeks.

What do I use my computer for? Often I much prefer a computer to compose emails and messages (excluding texts). I organize my thoughts better on a big screen with a keyboard having real keys. Occasionally I will edit videos to post on YouTube or create music in GarageBand or Logic. Of course I blog, and any general reading or research I do I prefer to do on a computer.

So for those unique weeks I found myself without this resource readily available. But it pushed me toward a new solution: the public library. While I love my library primarily for the books, I learned the value of checking out a laptop for an hour. With the precious time I had, I forced myself to create goals and focus on what I needed to do in that hour. I spent time responding to emails and Facebook messages. I read and wrote and researched. I even allowed myself some scroll time on Facebook. And it was glorious.

The time without my own computer felt new and different. I possess a deeper thankfulness for the one I do have now. And the focused time in the library reminded me to carry a similar intention with me in my day-to-day perspective.

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