Monday, April 07, 2008

just thinking

I'm as busy as I've ever been, writing-wise. I wake up, make a pot of coffee, find a quiet corner of the house (and that changes on a regular basis), and start reading, transcribing, and scribbling notes. This research (on the Counterculture Movement of the 60s, the Jesus Movement that followed, and how that movement merged with a small fellowship called Calvary Chapel and exploded into a globe-spanning revival) is so fascinating, so thought-consuming, that I've been waking up three or four nights a week around 2:00 a.m. with a head full of questions. On those nights, I start the coffee earlier than usual and work through dawn.

All that to say, I've begun to fall out of love with the internet. I still need it for research, and I still prefer email to trying to scrounge up an envelope and stamp, but I've also never been more aware of what a time killer it is. I've got three email accounts, a MySpace, a Facebook, MyChurch, a knitting group on Ravelry, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Plaxo, our women's ministry blog, my own blog, my author site, a column for Christian Women Online, a Sparks People page, and two yahoo groups (out of 18) that I read regularly. I just know I'm forgetting another something or two. And that doesn't even take into consideration the fact that most of you have MySpace, Facebook, MyChurch, Ravelry, Goodreads, LindIn, blog, blog, blog pages that I should be reading and keeping up with.

How does a person keep up with all that? Here's a more thought-provoking question: Should a person keep up with all that? Because I have to tell you, the last two days I've almost completely ignored the internet--and it's been pure bliss. Instead of checking in 17 times a day, I checked in once. Period. Yesterday I didn't get online until 8:00 p.m., which is a first for me. And yes, it means I have dozens of emails to get through. It means I haven't posted anything new on any of my blogs or groups. But I've loved the disconnect. Loved, loved, loved it. I felt like I'd chewed through the chain around my ankle and was finally relearning the joy of dancing.

I don't know what I'm going to do with all these thoughts swirling about my head. Do I burn my Mac dial-up connector and disappear from cyber space all together? Do I go back to being a woman who got all her stimulation and information from books, conversations, and the library? Or do I dare try to limit myself to just a short, harmless spurt every day? Is that even possible--or is the internet a drug? Can you have just a tiny bite and walk away any time you want?

It's odd, because I didn't mean to let all that out. What I meant to do--in one short paragraph--was say, "I haven't been online much and haven't had time to post, but here's a fun test you can take." Instead, I flopped down on a cyber couch and had a little session, right in front of all y'all.

Well, I'm getting up now and getting back to my real job. Here's the fun test. Come back and tell me how fast you type.

And if you have any words of wisdom about all the other stuff, I'll take that too.

100 words

Speed test


8 Comment:

At 4/07/2008 11:22 AM, Blogger Jay KTX had this to say ...

No words of wisdom - just that I'm in the same place. I miss the in depth Bible study I used to do on the computer. But I'm burned out with the time I spend in "social networking." Question is, can I really sit at the computer and not check my email, etc.?

For now I am turning off my computer at night and taking my time to wake it up each new day.

Keep us updated on how you deal with this problem, please.

At 4/07/2008 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

I feel almost the same but on a different level; I have become addicted to reading christian blogs!! I do not have a blog page or Facebook but I have kind of gotten myself in trouble by leaving comments that are not in agreement with the person who wrote the blog. I was new to the blogging world and I thought all comments were welcomed as long as they weren't inappropriate. I have learned a valuable lesson; don't leave a negative comment or you could get raked over the coals for it.

In your case it sounds like you just might need a little break; or maybe downsize a little. You touch many people and that is a gift.


At 4/07/2008 5:04 PM, Blogger Kari had this to say ...

Shannon, I think reading "Gift from the Sea" has something to do with our disdain, don't you? Ms. Morrow says we are left "fragmented". That's certainly how I feel these days.

Don't ask me why I just signed up for two new groups on Ravelry. What was I thinking? LOL

My internet was acting up yesterday and I fought between "how can I get anything done without my computer?" to "I wonder what I can get done around here now that I have no computer!"
Thanks for the great post. I needed to hear it again.

At 4/07/2008 7:31 PM, Blogger Curlyqfun had this to say ...

I know sometimes we get so busy with the computer/internet that it's easy to forget the other important things. I dont have any words of wisdom but know what you're saying. I only get online at night and that seems to work for me.
(I selfishly like communicating with you via blog/myspace etc...since I dont get to see you as often - PLUS you write so well!!!!) That said you need to do what is best for you & your family.

At 4/07/2008 7:41 PM, Blogger Cora had this to say ...

Okay, I'm not as fast as you; I typed 77 words per minute, but still not too bad.

I don't have any words of wisdom, either. Is there any way you can downsize? Maybe limit yourself to what you do on the internet? Any way you can do that? Might be good to just start there.

At 4/07/2008 7:49 PM, Blogger Fran had this to say ...

I haven't taken the typing test yet but I totally hear you on the internet thing! And if it weren't bad enough that we're on it at home we have to go and buy laptops so we can drag them with us everywhere we go! (I need an eye roll smiley!)

I think that's why I've fallen in love with the idea of tea. The girls and I do it once a week but often we'll just light a candle, turn on some classical music and me and all the kids will have tea together. Just a little "unplugged" time where I can interact with real live people. Want to come over for tea? :)

At 4/10/2008 11:29 AM, Blogger Kim had this to say ...

Just thinking... totally. ;)

At 4/11/2008 9:41 PM, Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience had this to say ...

Yes! It is worse than a drug actually....

I found this stunning:

A footnote in a book I'm reading, led me to this study: "In 80 clinical trials, Dr. Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King's College London University, monitored the IQ of workers throughout the day.

He found the IQ of those who tried to juggle [email] messages and work fell by 10 points -- the equivalent to missing a whole night's sleep and more than double the 4-point fall seen after smoking marijuana."


Fragmenting our days with checking of email incessantly is *doubly* worse for our productivity than doing marijuana.

Keep chewing that chain, Shannon...


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