It’s 2012 now, which means that we’re in a peak of technological boons. It’s also before the machines rebell and attack us all, so in this sweetheart period, it’s up to us to enjoy all the gains technology gives us. Sometimes we don’t; we get distracted by Facebook and Youtube videos of cats dancing. But there’s more you can do.

1. Load Up Your Smartphone

People are spending more time than ever on their phones, looking at them under kitchen tables and in corners at parties. Well, if you’re going to be addicted to your phone, it may as well be awesome. Forget the games (limit them, I mean) and instead move into the apps. Anything useful; a flashlight, sure, but how about a locater for if you lose it, or the Urban Spoon app to find food places near you, or an iBartender app to learn drinks, or a translator handy on your phone. Get creative and ambitious and remember: your phone is a utility belt. Make the most of it.

2. Get Media

There was a time when there was a limited amount of material you could get. Now, thanks to the internet, it’s more or less everywhere. Go to a Youtube video and see how many “aspiring rappers” fill up the comments.

See, the good news about that is that there’s now tons of ways to find good stuff out there. Websites like Datpiff.com let you download hundreds of legal rap mixtapes free, many of them good. (Lil Wayne, oddly, has an immensely impressive catalogue.) If you got Netflix just for Breaking Bad, explore and find new shoes and movies too. You might as well. Technology, yo!

3. Learn Stuff

I know your professor’s won’t let you cite Wikipedia as a source, but for your own personal knowledge, there’s nothing better. Google things! Recipes and hints are everywhere: for everything from hangover cures or the best hamburgers in Boston, the internet’s your friend. Even this site is full of tips and hints that can help make you better. Gain some fun and applicable knowledge and live better, yo. Hack college and hack your life.

4. Reconnect and Connect

We live in an age of Facebook and Twitter. That means we can get in touch with more or less anyone. But do we? Not especially; interestingly we still operate the same socially. But seeing as we can now reach out to people, old pals and equally find new people to connect with, it’s odd that we don’t handle that as much as we should. So check in with someone. Right a sibling an email. Text an old pal. It’s easy and more productive than Angry Birds.

5. Go Away From It

Technology was supposed to make our life easier. If we replaced regular mail with email, we’d have more free time. But we don’t; we spend just as much time on email, perhaps more, than it’d be to check our physical mailboxes once a day. Cellphones meant we didn’t have to wait by landlines, but now? We spend so much time texting and more that it takes away time from other activities. If you want the most form technology, remember to take it’s best parts and leave the rest away.