We bounce from topic to topic online in search of knowledge, it’s natural. It’s an age where we juggle conversations three at once (on twitter, while in an elevator, texting a former roommate.) The thirst we have for information gives us a sense of freedom but it is also the prime source of distraction and it’s not real.
If there is anything I discovered from taking apart a motorcycle, putting it back together again and riding it to New York City and back, is that doing something with your hands, assembling, problem solving – nothing compares to it. And the tools required to get the job done are non-negotiable. It’s either you fix it or you don’t.
Much like a bricklayer only requires a brick and mortar, I believe that a Web Developer only needs three tools: the eyes the ears and the hands. The brain plays a role here too, but instead of ravenously chasing the next thing as it is so easy to do with the type of access we have to technology, step away and ground yourself again in the real. Grab a chair, take a walk, re-focus.
I am a champion of building only what is real, as contradictory as it sounds in the web-space, because for a digital experience to be built as simply and functionally online as it is offline, you must be prepared to step away and filter out what is not absolutely necessary and real, to do it.
(This post was inspired by an interview with Steve Paikin and Matthew Crawford the author of “The World Beyond Your Head” on TVO)