Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A rambling post on all things cyber.

I hate Facebook. Don't get me wrong. I am on Facebook. All. The. Time. That's why I hate it. It's an addiction. I have to kick it every now and then. Last summer I went a whole week without it. And the world did not end.

The whole of the Internet is this way for me. It is invaluable in some ways. Information at my fingertips. It saves time spent out in the crowds at Christmastime, sitting in traffic. It saves money on gas. When I want to know anything about anything, I google it. If I wonder where I've seen that actor before, all I have to do is visit the Internet Movie Database. And the evil Facebook itself has connected me with old (and newer) friends and proved an interesting forum for a myriad of "conversations", however stilted they may be for taking place on a "wall".

But on the other hand, information at my fingertips can be detrimental. My trusty laptop is only a few steps away whenever I'm at home--and sometimes when I'm not. I can be very attached to finding things out instantly.

As a side note, my resistance to getting an iPhone is almost entirely based on the addiction factor. Would a flask be a good gift for an alcoholic?
"Here, now you can take Vodka with you wherever you go!"

When I find myself frantically checking and rechecking Facebook, or my email, or whatever . . . I try really hard to stop myself, close the laptop, and look at my children. I've told myself before that I'm going to stay off the Internet until Adrian is down for his afternoon nap and Camilla is settled for her "turtle time" (that's when we all go in our shells--Mommy, too!). But I always find a reason I need it before then. Like counting calories. If I'm currently counting calories, I use Calorie King a zillion times a day. But, I don't really have to. Think of all the time I'm spending burning my retinas with the computer screen when I could give my full attention to the other people in my world. Maybe it's time to take a break again . . . maybe.

Well . . . enough self-flagellation for now. As hard as I resisted for years, I finally joined Twitter. I kept hearing the praises of Twitter--I almost felt like I was committing professional suicide by not having a Twitter account. But I didn't want another addiction. Finally, after reading this article on Rachelle Gardner's blog, I thought maybe I should join to see what all the fuss was about. I told myself I didn't have to get really involved with it. I don't have to "tweet" any more than I want to. To tell you the truth, I still haven't figured out what all the fuss is about. I haven't found it useful, or even interesting really. I think someone might need to show me the ropes. For instance, how do I set up my blog to tweet whenever I post? Of course, this post might not be a good one to start with.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Alison,

    I like the new look of your blog! Lovely. I'm with you - it's a struggle to stay balanced with the internet. Sometimes I make my "rounds" of checking email, facebook, twitter, blogs, a bazillion times a day. It kind of reminds me of how I used to spend hours clicking through channels when we had cable... It's good to stay aware.

    I'll call you soon and tell you what I know about Twitter. It's been a fun thing to do and be part of - and I don't find myself at all addicted to it. When I go on or take part it's fun and I do get a few blog hits every day from twitter, so it's been a good way to be connected. One of my best contacts in writing (a published author who hangs out on twitter) came from a tweet I did one Sunday morning inviting folks to come by my blog. She did, and I'm so happy to have made that connection.

    Love you! Happy Thanksgiving :)

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  2. I can absolutely relate to this post! I have the same love/hate relationship with Facebook! But if I start being too hard on myself, I remember that it is a way to feel connected in a very isolating job. Especially, when it's not like you or I can just stand on the front porch and chat with the neighbors (my suburban cul de sac feels about as remote as your rural locale at times).

    Of course, picking up the telephone and calling a friend would help with that lonely feeling as well! Maybe one day soon I'll stop making excuses and actually call you!

    Miss you!
    Peg

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  3. Hi Alison! GREAT post - it is so easy to get sucked in, to feel connected through a computer, when so much of the time it is a false connection - I feel like I am in danger of losing a part of myself.

    And yet - some of the connections I've made through Facebook and blogging feel very real, even though I've never "met" these connections in person. There's you, befriending me on my blog, helping me in the process of putting myself out there by reaching out.

    And now I must "friend" you on Facebook! (I still have trouble with Twitter.)

    xoxox

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