There are times in life when you just need to stand up and do something manually. Nothing wrong with using the computer to send an email or type a report for school. It should make such a task easier — identifying misspelling and grammatical errors that you might otherwise miss. But when you have to pick up your computer to do everything, you’ve reached a new low in life.
Right now, it’s back to school time at our house. The kids are just getting all their books and binders organized. Yesterday, my son asked if I would use my computer to make labels for his binder tabs. One for math, social studies, etc. All that was required was to visit a website, download a template for MS Word, type the words in the blanks, turn on the printer, print a few mock-prints to make sure it lined up, and then the final print. After which, he would break the little tabs out of the perforation and apply them to his five binder partitions. All this would probably end up taking about fifteen to twenty minutes.
“Why don’t you just hand write them? Should only take a minute, right?” I asked.
“But it wouldn’t look as good,” he replied.
Maybe he will have some level of satisfaction knowing it took nearly a half-hour to accomplish a task that could have taken two minutes. But, the binder was for him, and short of his teacher seeing it maybe once all year, nobody would even know it was there.
So far, the aforementioned is unresolved, but I think it provides an excellent point. Your computer isn’t always going to make your life easier. In fact, many times I catch myself doing something on the computer that I could more easily have done by hand. Here’s what I’m taking away from this experience:
1. Ask yourself how much time you’re saving by using a computer for the task at hand.
2. Can you do it manually and it take the same amount of time, or less?
3. Does using a computer add value, or take it away? (like a note of thanks, or an invitation for a small get together).