Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is technology running away with us?

I was going to title this social media instead of technology, but being as I plan to talk about tv as well, that didn’t fit.

As of the moment this blog hit the Internet, I will be on a tv and Internet lock down for one week. The fact that this is actually a big deal is kind of scary (and gives more credence to why I need to do a week lock down.). I know I’m not the only person who honestly would freak out a bit with NO TV, NO facebook, NO Twitter, NO emails (ok, modified- I’ll explain further down)- no Internet at all (except to back up my writing files).

Our world has changed and is changing faster than at any time in history. We’ve become those kids on the rides that yell for more speed, always wanting more connections, more entertainment, more stimuli.

Some people claim this is making us more able to multi-task. Others, myself included, wonder if it’s destroying something as well. People text instead of talking. While we’re at some really cool place, probably with people we like, we’re tweeting about it. To strangers.

This demand for constant contact can also act as a stressor- we need to check everything multiple times an hour- “just in case”. Friends, families, marriages have been damaged by what someone did or didn’t say on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, etc. Even when this contact is positive, it can lead to social stress.

Now tv is a different case but often feeds in directly or indirectly to the social media issue. Our brains shut off when we watch tv- so it can be very relaxing. But also a huge time suck. I’m not a huge tv watcher, the number of shows I regularly watch is far less than many folks. But even I find myself drawn in. I’ll have things I need to do after work, things I want to do---but then I sit down in front of the tv and pretty soon it’s time for bed. Another evening of productivity wasted.

So, between the mindlessness of tv and the stressors and over-connectedness on social media, I’m taking a break. As of this morning I’m taking a week off. No tv. No Facebook. No Twitter. Extremely modified email (I’m putting all of my groups to no email and will only spend 15 minutes each morning ONLY reading emails sent specifically to me. I can’t go completely cold turkey, and there are some people who do need to reach me- plus, ya never know when an agent or editor might answer a query ;))

Yes, the irony of using a form of social media to announce I’m taking a week off from social media is peculiar to say the least. But I figure I’m probably not the only person who is thinking the same thoughts. And especially for writers- both social media and tv can destroy our productivity at a time when we can least afford it.

So please feel free to comment- I’ll report back next Wednesday on how well my sanity survived, but I won’t be checking this blog. My regularly scheduled writing prompts for this Friday and next Monday are already scheduled- so they’ll post without me.

What do I hope to come from this? I hope to relax, to realize I don't need to be so connected. I hope to read more books, and write and edit more of my own work. I hope to slow things down- just for one week.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Is this a big deal or not? Are we letting technology run us?

See ya in a week!


  1. Hi Marie! Great post! I think about this all of the time, but then think I can't go through with that. I'm curious to see how your week goes and how much more productive you found the time to be. Have a great week.
    Brenna A.

  2. Are you crazy? Hell, no! I used to be a TV junkee until I started writing. Then again, I used to get maybe two e-mails a week until I started writing (and now I get over 100 a day due to the loops I'm on). Sometimes you have to take that break. It's refreshing, too. Hope you enjoy your week.

  3. GAH! Marie...I feel like I should send you my phone number so you can call me and I'll read tweets to you....LOL

    OTOH, I understand. We swore off TV a few years ago and I am more productive and imaginative than I have ever been. I've also run up a serious bill on Amazon for eBooks.

    good luck to you and call me if you need a fix!