Theory and Practice

Computing == Chores?

I can’t help but feel that a large part of my time on the computer is spent doing chores.

  • Performing backups
  • Updating software
  • Shuffling files around
  • Updating Twitter
  • Checking mail
  • And so on…

When I put it all together, it really looks I spend a huge amount of time on the care and feeding of this little box. And somehow that just doesn’t seem right.

Computers were supposed to make our lives easier. We would all sit back and relax while robots cooked and cleaned for us, Word-process-a-trons magically types for us, and massive think-o-puters solved the thorny equations. And yet here we are, pushing buttons like monkeys in a psych experiment.

As near as I can tell, the “social networking” phenomena is only making this problem worse. For example: I like Twitter and unlike Maureen Dowd, I think it’s useful. But it occasionally feels like another computer-based chore. “Gotta push out another 140 character mini-missive right away!”

I’ve spent the majority of my adult like working with computers. Or at least, that’s what I thought I was doing. Maybe I have actually been working FOR computers. Hmm.