A couple of days ago I tried an experiment: I wanted to avoid reading email, blogs and all and sundry tidbits on the internet for 24 hours – to get a respite from the constant online activity. Instead I would go ‘old fashioned’ and spend the day reading magazines or a book.
But I soon found there was something or other I wanted to retrieve from a website. And I was getting more anxious not looking at my BB than if I checked it. (You know, maybe catching a furtive glance at the locked screen. Finding out the time and then casually noticing I had six emails… That’s not too many to ignore, I reasoned. But what if one’s important and I have to read it… now?)
You get the picture.
I decided that my forced abstenance was causing me more tension than simply being plugged in.
And you know what? When I did reconnect, there was nothing earth-shattering awaiting me. But neither did I feel a surge of guilt for breaking down.
The truth is I really do like being connected. I like the social part of social media. And I like knowing about things early (before they appear in MSM).
Of course, there’s always a tradeoff between time spent reading online and time spent reading magazines or books.
The point for me is, it’s not a matter of shutting one thing off (or out). It’s a matter of deciding for myself what I think is the best way to spend my reading time. And sometimes that’s a really hard choice.