I've been trying to write this blog all day, the last in the series of what I saw and what I got during my self imposed tech news diet. Yet for the first time in the seven days I have been blogging on this subject the words are not flowing.
Is that what happens on the other side of detox?
The diet is over, I'm happy about it, but now I can't write? Or am I just already overwhelmed at the prospect of catching up on those 500+ blogs sitting in my Google reader or opening up the 91 newsletters that have accumulated in a file called Detox? It was no easy feat not browsing my social networks. Limiting the number of times I could check email was hard but the most difficult was not watching The View.
And now it's over and I can go back ? Or can I ? Do I want to?
Putting some controls on myself was a good thing. It made our cultural obsession with being plugged in 24/7 look unnatural. More than the limits I put on social networking and Internet and television news the thing that got to me most was the handheld device. Without my own to distract me, I saw our obsession in bold relief.
I'm starting to worry about our thumbs. They were not designed to type on a tiny keyboard. The rudeness factor has no limits. People chat on cell phones in contained public places exchanging information that might be better left to the bedroom. A woman today brought her Blackberry into Pilates to keep herself occupied for the five minutes before class started. I am more concerned than ever with our increasing inability to just be alone with nothing to distract us except perhaps our own thoughts and dreams.
I have more questions now than before. How do we balance the benefits of new information technologies with just sitting and being? What makes us so consumed with the idea everything has to be done as fast as humanly possible? Why are we so afraid to slow down and take care?
The world is experiencing one disaster after the other that are the result of a lack of regulations. And I fear if we don't start regulating ourselves and exerting some discipline over our 21st Century obsession we are headed for more.
When I was younger I wanted to know everything about everything. But everything was a much smaller pie than it is in our globally interconnected lives. So maybe that is not possible anymore. Maybe I don't need to know everything, all the time, 24/7. And maybe if I stop pushing so hard to make sure I got it all covered, the surprise will be what I pull in.
There are a couple of things I am sure of now. I will be putting time limits on my on line endeavors. I will no longer sit on my email. I will make time for my printed newspapers. And I will not make my mobile device a priority over the person standing in front of me. The one thing I want to be sure not to miss is the moment. The only exception is if I'm expecting a call from my agent with my book deal in which case all bets are off !