Friday, October 1, 2010

Using Technology (instead of getting used)

My real goal in life is to make disciples of Jesus.

I want to make sure that e-mail, social media and any other technology helps me do this, instead of distracting me.  I don't feel like we can jump ship on e-mail, facebook, etc because so much personal and relational communication happens over these mediums.  But to make sure I'm not the one getting used, I'm drawing the following lines in the proverbial sands of Silicon Valley.

Email
  • Line 1: Personally respond to as many people as possible, keeping in mind that not all e-mail you receive comes from people.
  • Line 2: Punch out responses to e-mails twice a day at most. (And only once daily during busy seasons.)  Pick a time and stick with it.  This fall I'm going to try after lunch.
  • Line 3: Keep it simple.  Review two.sentence.es and its accompanying websites.
  • Line 4: If you find yourself giving the same responses to multiple people, consider using an e-mail template (ie Gmail's "Canned Responses").
  • Line 5: Be nice! Say please and thank you. Ask for prayer requests. Ask questions related to your previous knowledge of the person and their circumstances.
  • Line 6: Use an RSS reader program to keep your Inbox clear of newsletters, blog updates, etc. My personal favorite is Google Reader.
Facebook
  • Line 1: Make 1 list of Friends to Invest In.  Set a limit of how many friends this will be. (Not sure on the number here: 50? 150?)
  • Line 2: "Listen and respond" to this list for about 10 minutes each day.  Like e-mail, pick a time and stick with it.
  • Line 3: Don't spend any additional time on Facebook, as it has the tendency to suck you in.
  • Line 4: Use Google reader for notifications so you don't feel the need to check back in to Facebook multiple times each day.
  • Line 5: Be very judicious about who you accept as friends, especially when it comes to females.  If your wife would raise her eyebrows at who you accepted, don't do it.

Cell Phone
  • Line 1: Have 'no texting' times.  For me this means put the phone out of site from 5-8pm.
  • Line 2: Prioritize the people in front of you over the random person calling.

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