Internet follies

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Many of us wrestle with the intrusion of technologies on our day-to-day lives and our productivity. Some of us complain that the Internet is a constant distraction more than it is a tool. Kevin Hartnett writes in The Millions that he’s demoting the Internet from its position of power over any underachievement in his life:

The Internet is just a thing that sits on my desk, if it sits anywhere at all.  If I close the lid of my laptop, it can’t get me. If I walk outside it, can’t follow me.  Blaming the Internet for the novel I didn’t write is a little like blaming a plush sofa for the marathon I didn’t run. 


… the Internet does not have a strong magnetic pull of its own.  It’s more like water, ingenious at filling negative space, at seeping into cracks. So in 2011, I’m going to stop fretting over the Internet and instead think about it the way I think about my bathtub: caulk and forget it.

No more using the net to avoid work. I’m also thinking about not using email or Facebook as substitutes for in-person human interaction. The abundance of technology should serve as a catalyst for thinking and creating and communicating, not an end in itself. Balance seems like a worthy goal here. Oh, and read Hartnett’s article to the end for a smile.