Monday, September 20, 2010

Digital Dilemma

It's obvious that I haven't posted in a while. Why, you wonder? Well, several reasons, actually. The semester has begun, I have four preps including one new class, and I'm a little stressed. But those are not the main reasons. Actually, I'm having a digital dilemma.

Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Text Messages. The Internet . . . . All of them were vying for my attention, and I noticed that I wasn't always really in control of how much time I spent online. I'd get on to check Facebook, and before I knew it half an hour was gone. One blog would lead to another, one website to another, and before I knew it another half hour was gone. It was as if I were giving away little bits of my life without consciously making the decision that those activities were worth the sacrifice of time. Also, something's gotta be wrong when you start evaluating every life experience in terms of whether it'll make a great tweet or a cryptic status update.

Additionally, I began to feel a low-level of stress (the kind with physical symptoms) that I believe was a result of being constantly "in touch." There were always badges telling me I had messages or that someone had posted on my wall or that someone else wanted to follow me on Twitter. Even when I didn't want to check my iphone I felt compelled to. Compelled. Isn't that a characteristic of addiction?

So, I've backed off. I leave my iphone in my purse. On the weekends I turn off alerts and avoid my laptop. At first, it was hard, and it embarasses me to say that. But now, it's much easier. I forget about being connected for hours at a time. I feel better both physically and mentally, and I get a lot more done.

I haven't decided yet how dis-connected I want to be, ultimately. I have a community of online friends that I enjoy, but I also have a life that I want to live authentically and with purpose. I'm in the process of figuring it all out. Comments and suggestions would be most welcome.

1 comment:

Ash said...

That whole "everything in moderation" advice seems to prove true time and time again. Funny, I found myself with very similar feelings lately, and I decided to permanently avoid a Twitter account and only check Facebook once a day, period. (I realized my world didn't actually come to a screeching halt if I didn't check statuses daily.) I'm keeping the blog,'s enjoyable and alleviates stress, if I don't worry when I haven't posted for a while. Your loyal readers will understand if they don't get an everyday dose.