No turning back

The way the human brain adapts to exposure  to infinite data within the online environment  fascinates me. Continual advances in technology must affect the way people gather and process information.

Sometimes I wonder how much time I spend searching and following online threads. Hours can go by and eventually I’m either satisfied with what I find,  get swept away to a different topic or become frustrated and give up.

Am I more knowledgeable or better off for my online experiences? My answer is both yes and no. I have a love hate relationship with my computer.

Yes –  via the Internet I have access to

  • instant news about current major world events
  • accredited educational courses
  • plentiful information and multiple points of view
  • social connections through blogging, email, Facebook and Skype
  • music, movies, e-books,  photographs and images

Nomy exposure to the online environment has resulted in

  • information overload – my brain can’t absorb the volumes of information so I only retain scant detail
  • a lack of willingness to read articles more than 400 words
  • skepticism about the accuracy and validity of  information
  • an awareness of scams trying to extort money or private information
  • less time for face-to-face communication

I love having access to the online world but constantly remind myself that I existed for 40 years without it.

I think we should embrace the positives of technology but prevent it from becoming an obsession, which it has already become for many people.

Maybe one day per week (at least) we should unplug our computers, phones and I-pads?
I know I would find this challenging.
Would you do it?
What are your views about the online environment?

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30 thoughts on “No turning back

  1. interesting timing! for the first time in…as long as i can remember…i turned off my computer yesterday, and didn’t turn it on again till this morning. i was home all day, and read (an actual book!) in complete silence. it was the strangest sensation but something i used to love to do (pre-facebook era).
    i’m so glad i did it. it was not as hard as i thought and i might make it a weekly thing. thanks, aleya

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  2. Thanks for the reminder. I wanted to do this in my home but forgot. (probably because I’ll be the one biting my nails). It’s so easy to get hooked on electronics because they bring so much pleasure! But not as much as scrabble or rummy with my family 🙂

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  3. Kinda interesting that my little blog has become a place for me to connect with myself.. with my little posts. So it often doesn’t feel like technology. Kind of in what way we use it maybe.. as well as how much. I can be all alone and totally stuck in a loop of distraction of thoughts too. Good to contemplate ❤
    Much love,
    Laurie

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    1. I agree that writing a blog can be therapeutic. My computer provides me with hours of entertainment, social connections, learning opportunities and access to endless information. My concern is the amount of time I spend using technology is increasing and I don’t want it to become the main focus in my life. Love to you from Jenna

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  4. I do my best to take advantage of access to so much information… I grew up without so much time for learning and now I know what time is necessary for becoming wise – and so, I just work at it every day. I am grateful for the information age and it seems to me to be according to prophecy that this time is allowing us average folk to connect quickly with our information needs and as well in a social format.

    Blessings,
    ~ Eric

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    1. I agree the information age has opened doors of opportunity for learning and advancing our skills. I am also grateful for the knowledge I have gained via advances in technology. The main concern I have is making sure the time I spend on my computer doesn’t stop me pursuing other activities. Love to you from Jenna

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  5. Hello Jenna, it’s a great suggestion to unplug one day in a week. Most people here are hooked to their smartphones even while they are driving or having a meal in the restaurant 🙂 Thanks for the reminder. We need more ‘facetime’ than facebook :). Much love, Pat

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    1. I agree the smartphones are invading our personal time and I also find it rude when people sit starting at the screen rather than talking to the person they came to the restaurant with. Love Jenna

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  6. My philosophy on technology is that it is here for me, not me for it. So I completely turn off my phone when I drive, and sometimes the radio. I enjoy the silence for that time and get quiet. I’m working on weaning myself off the rest.

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  7. Prior to blogging, I rarely went online. I would go days without even checking my email. None of it mattered to me. After I started blogging, I wrestled with guilt for spending a couple hours a day online. I would take a day or two off just to prove I wasn’t “hooked”. But I look at it differently now. My blogging has become more purposeful. I truly enjoy reaching out and exchanging views with others. Seeing their work, sharing mine. I get annoyed with myself when I get sucked into YouTube for too long. And sometimes I do feel the need to just step away from it all, and have no problem doing just that. I think it is all about balance and only each individual can say what that is for them.

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    1. I agree, as long as we use technology for our own benefit and know we can easily leave it alone for any length of time then we remain in control.
      However I think that it is and will be a problem for some people to shut it down and do something else.

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      1. I think Internet Addiction is a real problem for some people. I do know I am quite attached to electricity, however. When the power goes out, I am lost! In the past, we’ve had storms where the power was out for 4-5 days and by the end, I was pulling my hair out! Now we have a back up generator for the appliances and furnace, so my days of lugging water from the stream are over! 🙂

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  8. I would not want to be without a computer for a long period of time but I have no problem not using it for a day or even a few days now and then. I do not talk on the phone unless it is important and I do not have an I-Pad or any of the latest gadgets. Only my desktop computer and ancient 🙂 cell phone that I use only for traveling or emergencies if needed. I would never want to be where I had no face to face contact with people. Hugs

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    1. Hi Mags, It sounds like you have got just the right balance in your life. You enjoy the benefits of technology but have no problem being away from your computer for a day. I agree I would never want to live my life without having face to face contact with people every day. Love to you from Jenna

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  9. I find the internet to be a double-edged sword. It can provide multiple opportunities for connection and creativity, but it can also swallow up a huge amount of time and energy. I often find myself lost in cyberspace, totally distracted from what I intended to do.

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    1. Yes I think every one of us has been caught in the Internet web where we end up totally distanced from what we set out to do. Your description that the internet has the potential to swallow up huge amounts of time and energy is apt. Maybe we feel tired all the time because of this. Love to you from Jenna

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  10. I’ve been on the internet since the early days of Bulletin Boards; on Facebook since 2006; and on some other services since they started. I agree there can be overload, especially when I’m researching something specific and reading scientific papers! But it can also be a way for me to unwind after reading those scientific papers, too. 🙂 I’m tied in with my smartphone, too. And no, I’m not going to unplug; my cell phone is my only phone. But I can go for hours without checking email, etc.. 🙂

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    1. Hi Ruth, thanks for sharing your comment. I agree that technology can provide a way to unwind after being overloaded with information. My challenge to myself is to find another way to unwind at least once a week. Love to you from Jenna

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  11. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time I spend online. I love the blogging community and all it has to offer me. Writing is solitary activity and so blogging offers contact, being it with other writers, photographers, travelers, artists. politically active people, gardeners etc. It offers me glimpses into other worlds and gives me inspiration.
    BUT… I sometimes wonder if I don’t use blogging as procrastination from my writing 🙂

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    1. Hi Carol, my blogging experience is identical to yours, I have far more friends, know more about the world and benefit from the inspiration and creative talents of others. However I often don’t complete what I set out to write and spend too much time procrastinating clicking round and round looking for more information. It can be draining and that is why I think I need to unplug once a week. Love Jenna

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  12. Jenna, you have a good point. I know I can get sucked in! It can be very stimulating and addictive. Isn’t life about finding balance, harmony and alignment in everything we do. We can’t control others, but we can make conscious choices for ourselves.
    A no technology retreat sounds wonderful 🙂

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    1. Hi Val, yes of course we are all responsible for our own actions. I think that being aware of how much time we spend using technology will remind us that it is not something we want to completely dominate every day. Love to you from Jenna

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  13. I even thought about giving up the blog mess for Lent, but thought I’d miss you and the others too much 🙂
    Technology is what I think of when I hear the phrase “necessary evil”—we can’t seem to operate without it yet does it create more negative than the positive?
    Hugs Jenna—vis this computer of mine 😉

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    1. I’m very glad you didn’t give up blogging for Lent because I would miss you too much. I think we should enjoy the positives that technology provides but remain aware of the potential negative aspects that can impact the peace in our lives. Love to you from Jenna 😉

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