Yesterday a friend called me up to stress his opinion that I spend too much time on a computer. He asked me if I had a hobby. I paused and said it’s probably doing something like blogging or writing on the computer. He suggested that I was just doing more work and I should be doing something like playing an instrument, arts & crafts, or toying around with cars. I mentioned exercise and he paused and said maybe but not quite, because that’s just for health and not so much for run. He stated I needed a real hobby to round me out because I was doing too much computer stuff, too much work.
So then I get back to the point that computers have such a diverse uses that I think it’s really hard to say if someone is in front of a computer whether it’s work or a hobby. And it gets more confusing when someone really enjoys their work and so work becomes play and so not working is not fun. And so we get into a debate on if one is a workaholic or not. But I wont digress too much because this discussion can quickly go nowhere.
I would just describe my computer as a “media device” much like a TV, but more active and dynamic. The days are starting to fade away when working on a computer is considered a “high tech” skill. If you’ve enjoyed a video game, went to a self checkout isle in a grocery store, operated a cash register, used email, or used a web browser you’re already a mainstream computer user. If you’re buying stuff online, doing Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, then I’d say you might as well start calling yourself a computer nerd.
If you like to draw, paint, be a movie director, compose music, publish your own book, market, and sell your work, it can all be done through your computer so much more economically and easily than paying a company to do it for you. So if you’re a passionate artist, a dancer, a singer I dare say that in the end you’re going to be doing something more intensely involving computers. You’re going to find yourself spending a long amount of time in front of some computer screen. And someone else watching your eyes gazed at the screen will wonder is this work or a hobby?
So anyway today, I took time from the dredgery of looking for a new job to start blogging. I used to have a wordbook plugin that would cross post my blogs into Facebook. I now just installed a different plugin wordbooker, that promises to work better. So yes it was maybe an extra 15 minutes of work to dust off the cob webs and tinker to get the plugin to work, but it was satisfying to feel like I’m getting some things in my life back in order. But this activity helped me emotionally, released some stress that was fatiguing me so out that I couldn’t concentrate. It’s anyone’s opinion whether or not this makes me more well rounded, but I think it makes me more well adjusted and happier.
So I think my computer at least in this moment is my hobby. But once I move this window aside it the same computer will become work. The work window will be standing right next to the hobby window. So then I guess you can say my computer is hobby and work, both pleasure and pain, potentially both healthy and unhealthy.
What do you think? Is your computer a hobby or work?