Macs to the Max

Does Technology Improve Our Lives or Just Complicate It?

- 2006.06.01

Technology: It can be a lifesaver, and it can be a killer.

As with all current technology, it helps us with our lives by simplifying some of our tasks, such as typing up a report or listening to music. But it also complicates it - just because you can now listen to thousands of songs at the click of a mouse, you have to pay the price, by maintaining your Mac, paying for the music, and so on.

The Equation

The equation is very simple, and it's our choice how we use this to our advantage:

B = S + E - C

The technology benefit (B) comes from simplification (S) and efficiency (E) minus the additional complication (C).

Are you going to type up all of your reports on an old typewriter? It gets the job done pretty efficiently with very few complications, because all you need is light, a typewriter, paper, and ribbon. Or are you turning on your Mac, going into your favorite word processor, and typing it up. Now you have to have a Mac, electricity, a monitor, a printer, a word processing program, and so on that you now have to make sure all work.

But you also get word processing features and more ease of use, such easy editing and spell-check.


You always pay a price for technology. It could be a big one or just a small sacrifice. We need to apply the same idea we have for Macs to all our technology, not just Macs. We have to try to find that certain spot where we get enough extra features with a minimum of complication.

I'm not saying that we need to go back to horse and buggy (that would be a whole less complicated), but we should try to find the balance where we can increase our productivity while still keeping things simple.

If you think that you can get by with that old turntable for your music needs, then by all means do so. But if you have many CDs and don't want to haul them around or have a large amount of digital music, then an iPod is for you.


We often come down with a case of LAGS (Latest And Greatest Syndrome), but if all you need to do is word processing, you would overly complicate your life by going out and buying a brand new computer when you could get by with an old SE/30 and StyleWriter.

And when you buy that new computer, you have to pay for it, probably buy some new software, move all your old files, and so on.

But if you need some of the features the new computer has that would help simplify your life, you could be better off.

What Do You Want?

In the end it all depends on what you need and what can accomplish it with the least hassle - whether it means staying with what you already have or switching routes completely. Whatever is easiest, while still letting you move to a higher level of productivity (that's why you bought a Mac in the first place, right?).

This is a concept we all need to look at, so please share this article with friends and family. Spread the word, so we all can have less stress in our lives and be more productive. LEM

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