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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Techno-Quaresma!

Hello, one and all! As November looms before me, I face it with a goal never before attempted, at least not since I was in Brazil. The longest record of doing this particular goal was 24 months. This one month should not only be easy, but I'm certain it will benefit me in many ways.
Life is full of distractions nowadays. I got online Saturday to watch a YouTube video while I was eating my nachos, and next thing I know, I've gone from six meaningless and stupid YouTube videos to TVTropes.org (which is fun, but also time-consuming), to look at Facebook pictures of people I don't even know anymore. And an hour and a half has passed by, which I could have used to get my work done and earn money, or get homework done to take a load off later. Heck, I could have read a book, for crap's sake!
This kind of time-wasting is not healthy, and it annoyed me that it had snagged me so easily. They say idle hands are the devil's tools, and I don't want to work for that butthead! One of the most valuable things to us is, I think, self-control. If we don't have control over ourselves, it's like someone putting a ring in our nose and leading us around. Well, I don't know about you, but I don't want no ring in my nose. So my solution/exercise for my self control is...

The November Techno-Quaresma!
The rules I must abide by are as follows: 
1. No Facebook during the month of November.
I found a nifty program that can block any website you want, so this is one of the three websites I'm going to block this month. I'm also going to disable my text notifications. (My email notifications have long been disabled.) However, I will be able to post witty status updates via text. I just won't be able to see any comments on them.
 2. No YouTube during the month of November.
This site will be completely blocked on my laptop. If someone wants to show me something funny, they can show me. I just won't be allowed to access the site on my own computer. This rule alone will save me hours of collective time in one week, I'm sure.
 3. No TVTropes during the month of November.
I don't have that much of a problem with this site, but I'm going to block it anyway. As with all Wikis, one cool page has a link to 30 other cool pages, and... yeah. Pretty soon the day's over.
4. No bringing my laptop when I'm not going to use it.
I'm not sure how well I'll be able to keep this rule, but it's an important one. I used to pull out a book and read while I was waiting for class to start. Now I just pull out my laptop and.... push buttons on my laptop.
5. No computer games of any kind to be played on my laptop.
This includes creative games and map editors, which are probably worse for me than regular games. I will be able to play video games with my friends if that's the activity of the week or whatever. I consider gaming a social pastime when it's with friends. My goal is to ultimately eliminate gaming alone. This can get carried away and waste literally hours of time.
6. Thanksgiving Day is the only exception to above rules.
My wife is addressing a weakness of her own this month, namely eating sweets. She will not be allowed to eat any sweets in November, excepting this same rule, on Thanksgiving Day. Cuz punkin pie only comes once or twice a year, you know. And you know, family together and whatnot may bring some video games in to the picture.
Okay, so it's not literally a fast from technology. I still have homework to do on the computer, and movies (and of course this blog) are completely free game. It's more a fast from wasting time. Those social programs are literally chains that have been weighing down on me. I don't mean that to sound preachy in any way, but I admire those people who don't even have a Facebook profile, or who don't even play video games... who go outside and invent fun every day, or who are involved in organizations and clubs. In the course of this month, I hope to be able to:
  • Read at least a book or two
  • Take more time to be religious
  • Write or work on non-computer related projects
  • Get involved in something on campus... perhaps Capoeira, or a writer's workshop
  • Stay completely on top of my homework and job
  • More worthwhile jazz!
My secret hope is to eliminate these things entirely. Sure, Facebook can be something I look at maybe once a month or something, but free time is something precious now, and I shouldn't be a-wastin' it on things that don't matter.
Wish me luck. My month begins Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 12:00 AM Mountain Standard Time. It will end temporarily Thanksgiving day at the same time and resume 24 hours afterward. It will officially end on December 1, 2011 at midnight. But I hope by then I'll have the self-control to extend it.

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