Living in the age of the great acceleration, I consider it to be vital to reflect on the digital world in our everyday life. I am surrounded by a diverse set of people that make different use of the possibilities of the digital age. Originally, the digital age promised to bring us closer together, connecting every human with every other human. It starts to dawn on people that this promise of a digital globalisation was widely false, as for instance facebook is not the same as a face to face conversation. Some of my colleagues were critical from the very beginning, and do not even own a mobile phone to this day. Others -like me- were early adopters, and have the latest apps readily installed on their top of the line smartphone. I do not know who is right, in fact I do not even believe that there is a right or wrong. Instead some tools are good for some people, but not good for others.
Here, I provide an overview of the apps that I use, showing you my preference of digital working horses. I spread my apps in a coordinate system across two axes. The first axis ranges from apps that are mainly helping me (right) to apps that allow me to connect and collaborate with others (left). The second axis ranges from apps that I use several times a day (top) to apps that I use maybe every other week (bottom). Hence you may find that there are some apps that are fast paced and interactive to me, while I see other apps more as a safe haven of tranquility and peace.
Notably, there are hardly any apps that enable a slow interaction, as beside some writing and e-mailing there is to me no way to interact digitally and slow in a meaningful way. Of course I check my mail repeatedly every day, but I do not always reply on the same day. There are just too much e-mails. Another important finding for some people might be the lack of social media in my figure. As a dean, I have to be careful regarding my systematic focus. Especially continuous tasks such as Facebook and Twitter were -despite their use for some- ultimately not for me. Personally, I think these social networks take meaningful time away from me. Today, I prefer to spent time with others directly-face to face. Likewise is Instagram not for me. I never understood how pictures can be good for deep information.
I spent short burst of productivity in some communication apps, and focus on deep work in apps that predominantly focus on myself, notably for meditation, relaxation, or writing. I found out for myself that I can get the fastest first draft on my phone. It is not necessarily the best first draft, but for me starting to write is for instances harder as anything else. It took me a while to figure that out, and I actually learned this from observing somebody else.
This is the main point from this text. Exchange with others, as I would say this can bring meaning to your life as well as the life of others. But make sure to exchange especially to reflect which apps to use, and which ones to uninstall. I think it matters greatly to exchange, and we need to find out as individuals which technology brings us closer, and which one creates a disconnect. I think connecting to each other matters the most.