Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?"

(Clifford Stoll)

I am about to take a 10 day "rest" from the net.

Can I stay away that long?

I know that I will get lots of quality family time,
plenty of knitting time
and maybe even some reading or shopping time.
Who knows?
After 8 years, I might even try and catch up on some sleep
instead of surfing the web each night.

I may have access and I may well be tempted...

(The one thing that will suck me back will be to check in
on the result of all the crafty fundraisers bouncing around the net,
thanks to Toni and Carli over at Make It Perfect.
If you haven't checked out the auctions and giveaways going on,
please, please do so.
They are awesome in number, generosity and quality.
Funds raised currently stands at over $45 000 Australian dollars)

I am giving away a couple of bags.
Please check them out and make a donation)

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes.
I was reading an article today about what exactly all this web-time is doing to our minds.
Given that it is now known that our brains are constantly evolving in response to the way we use them,
it is an interesting debate as to what is happening.
Our age-old survival instinct is to detect and respond to new stimuli.

(Oh, look at that cute furry thing...with big teeth...that is salivating as it looks at me...
Perhaps I should....ruuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnn!)

But apply that to the world wide web
and we just want to click on that link,
respond to that message,
click, click, respond, click, respond, respond, click....
to the point where we find it hard to think beyond superfically
and find it harder to comprehend whatever it is that we are actually reading.


There are (of course) mixed opinions...
hyperlinks and multi-media are overstimulating us and
making us less able to concentrate and think more than superficially.

But then,
playing video games improves memory and speed of information processing.

Oh, but
the internet constantly requires multitasking which most people aren't good at.

Maybe, but then
Facebooks users have more real life friends

And so it goes on.

The internet is here to stay
but it is up to us as to how we use it.

I do believe that excessive screen time has to be detrimental,
in spite of some of the good that it may be doing for our brains.

On the flip side,
the information and resources that are available 24/7 is mind-boggling
and the shopping opportunities are, quite frankly, fabulous.
Then there are the friendships to be made...
William Powers "pulls the plug" on Friday night until Monday morning
and the weekend is internet-free family time
His family, though taking some months to adjust,
haven't looked back.
(Taking a couple of months to adjust gives you some idea of the power of the web)

Something for me to think about while I am unplugged.


Though, given that the kidlets are also going without Wii and computer time,
I may not get the peace that I am anticipating
and I might be back to escape from the real world sooner rather than later.

(Information source: "Net Effect- Andrew Fenton- The Advertiser)


busygnomes said...

Ha! good laugh about getting a life.
Six months ago we decided to change our childrens school, it was not done lightly but done quickly. I found myself a little cottage to buy near the school to live in during the week.
I really was off the grid, no land line, and mobile dosen't work in Guildford. and no intenet.
I LOVE IT, I'm uncontactable, my family and friends are not happy, but I feel more contected to my kiddo's and my thoughts are my own.I'm grateful that I get to escape during the week.
Have a nice break!

Mary said...

ooh nothing a good kick up the bum to get off the internet and go and do what I should be doing right now lol. Have a great, fun, restful internet break and see you on the flip side.

CurlyPops said...

Good luck! There's no way that I could give it up for a week.

Posie Patchwork said...

Good on you, see you on the other side. My 4 are not into television or computers, except for school work, thank goodness, i don't have to set the example by staying away from the laptop. I like the Wii on rainy days, they forget we have one then play doubles tennis & it's hilarious!!
Addiction, depends what your poison is?? Fabric is mine, love Posie

willow and moo said...

My net addiction goes way, way, way back. I can shut the computer and ignore it for ages, but once it's open, I am sucked in.

I find my kids are ok with no tv after they stop protesting. They actually play together nicely (most of the time!).

Have a good time.

Tanya said...

Hooray for you Tas, my fella was just telling me about an article he read about the internet and multitasking and us loosing the ability to concentrate and absorb. I hope you have been to your local library and stocked up for the kids (and then you can craft!)

Karen said...

Enough of this insanity. I'm missing you...damn it!!

Get your butt back on-line asap or get it over here for coffee :)


The Handmaden said...

Great post Tas, love it!
You know, I often think about the fact that we all lived without the internet and how much things have changed. In many ways it helps me and in many ways it disadvantages me. Sometimes I think about giving it up like we have done with TV - other times I feel I "need" it.
Food for thought for sure.