Technology overload

But there comes a point where I ask myself, in my personal life, do I need this? How much value does it have to me? How much value does it have to my readers? Am I overloading us both? Am being redundant? Am I just saying whats already said to several mediums just to stay relevant, but not even really being relevant?

I feel like all this technology and access has prevented us from doing more and instead made us monitor more. How much of your day is just catching up on what other people are (uselessly) doing? How much of your information intake is actually propelling you to a better life? How much is just a big time suck but you feel like you just have to keep up with your friends, comment on their status, read that popular blog post or contribute your own for fear of being irrelevant, seeming unhip or worse, out of touch.

– Alex Beauchamp, Girl at Play



In my own life lately, I’ve had to ask, What are my priorities? What’s truly important? My answers were happiness and health — which break down more specifically to writing, friends & family, and sleep. Note that spending lots of time on the internet is NOT anywhere in there. So all these social media — blogs, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. — they’re fun, and they can be useful, but are they worth of the bulk of my time? No. But are they getting it? Um… yes.

So, a restructuring is in progress. I’m trying to eliminate the inessential, yes, but more importantly I’m just trying to allocate the right portions of time and energy to each aspect of my life.

Granted, this isn’t the first time I’ve said something like this, and it may not be the last, but progress is a process and self-improvement is a journey. They are not buttons to be pushed or switches to be flicked.

My fear, of course, is what I might lose when I make these changes. Isn’t that why any of us stick with the status quo? But what I have to remember is the greater fear: what I might never gain if I don’t make these changes.

7 responses to “Technology overload”

  1. Pseudo Avatar

    I have friends (yes my age friends, including husband) who recently got started on Facebbook and have been bugging me to start one. Seems like everyone on the internet is talking about twitter. I love taking pictures and have thought about a flicker or buzznet account, but I’ve seen how much time my sister spends commenting on her buzznet friends’ photos.

    But I keep resisting all of this. Although I love the fact that starting a blog has brought me into a new circle of friends, and am enjoying this immensely, I try and stay centered on the fact that I started a blog as a way to get back to writing and to my creative self. I have to work very hard to carve out both blog and writing time, since my family and job take up the bulk of my time. So I realize that I don’t have time to add more technology into the mix. Plus, I stay away from anything that feels like a polularity contest (twitter seems like that to me). I’m trying to connect to my artist.

    So, guess I am trying to say bravo Kristan! Also that I linked your contest entry in yesterday’s post so hope you get more reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed your novel entry and can’t wait to read the entire book.

    • Pseudo’s recent blog post: Spring Swaporama

  2. Kristan Avatar

    I will say that I find Facebook useful just to keep track of people’s birthdays and keep in touch with people I never contact otherwise. But somehow I’ve never been allured by it as a time suck, dunno why. Guess it’s kind of lucky, just like my aversion to donuts and popcorn. :P

    And I’m with you: my focus is on the creative self, or at least it should be.

    So I guess I’m trying to say, Right on, Pseudo! I highly doubt you’re missing anything in life by not joining those sites. And thanks for the plug. :)

  3. Diane Avatar

    I think it’s great that you’ve focused on your priorities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else that’s not on the top. As long as you are satisfied with the time you’re spending on the top 5, I wouldn’t sweat the rest. Human beings aren’t 100% efficient…then we’d be robots :P.

  4. Sonja Avatar

    The last couple of months, I’ve really cut down on the amount of time I spend online and have also refocused my online activities. I cut out the message boards that I would get really sucked into, and I’ve also pretty much stopped reading blogs. (Yours is the only one I’ve look at in weeks.) The reason I did this was because it wasn’t really making me happy. The internet can be such a popularity contest, and I don’t want to play that game, but it’s hard not to get sucked into it. Thankfully, I have resisted facebook thus far – I’m sure I would get lost in that vortex for a while. A long while. Twitter, I find useful and also not overly time-consuming, largely because I only follow 6 people and none of them twitter constantly.

    Good luck cutting back. It can be really hard.

    • Sonja’s recent blog post: Definitely boring. Definitely.

  5. Kristan Avatar

    Oh I agree completely! (Although Andy is rather robotic… :P)

    “The internet can be such a popularity contest, and I don’t want to play that game, but it’s hard not to get sucked into it.”

    Exactly! I’ve fallen into the trap in the past, and looking at it now, I feel so foolish.

    But then again, as an aspiring writer, I know how important “building an audience” is… So where do I draw the line?

    Bleh. I think the answer is just what you said, though: Am I playing the popularity game, or am I creating true connections to people? That’s the litmus test.

  6. D'Arcy Avatar

    Kristan, I agree and it took me a long time to let go of it and I’m still trying. Part of me wants and longs to blog my ideas and have my thoughts heard and the other part just wants to go to the gym and have a long shower. I’m trying to balance those. Most of this week has been gym week. Today is all about facebook and blogging! Wahoo!!

    • D’Arcy’s recent blog post: A Free Bird

  7. Kristan Avatar

    Yeah, I kind of alternate too. Wednesdays are the worst so far. I call them “Waste Days” now because I’m just online all the time… :(