I’ve had no access to the internet for the past couple of days, and I have to say it’s been rather refreshing to do something other than trawl through Twitter, Facebook and various other blogs that I follow. I have been reading books (well, I do that anyway), indulging in some colouring (great fun) and catching up with some needlework.
I’m one of the generation who grew up pre-World Wide Web but even so I am having to re-learn how to do things I used to take for granted, like read an encyclopaedia or look something up in a dictionary. That said, I’ve loved skimming through reference books and finding things that I probably would never have picked up on otherwise. I’ve even found things I’d completely forgotten I had – who knew I had all that Tupperware in the back of the kitchen cupboard and forgot to tell me?
One of the things that fascinated me about William Gibson’s short story “Johnny Mnemonic” was the fact that he was aware of the dangers of information overload in the days of online everything, and that it was viewed as a disease, much like leprosy – I recall it being called something like “the Black Shakes”. It was devastating, causing nervous collapse and an inability to function, while the body simply shook uncontrollably.
Sounds like exhaustion to me.
I do not believe that the human body – or mind, for that matter – is designed to be constantly on the go. It needs rest, recuperation and time to recover and the modern 24/7 lifestyle doesn’t really allow for that. So an unexpected result of all this is that I now fully intend to have one internet free day a week, and if I want to write something, I will have to do it the old fashioned way, i.e. with pen and paper. I want to make productive use of my time, instead of just staring at a screen and talking about the things that I could be doing if I wasn’t staring at a screen. We all do it!
So that’s my plan. I doubt it will last long, the lure of social media is too much even for me, but I fully intend to try. Nothing ventured and all that. What do you think?