Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are We Too Plugged In?

I haven't even finished this article from the New York Times about scientists who left their cellphones and Internet behind for a week, and I want to turn off everything and go off for a week into the wilderness.

I've thought a lot about the relationship we all have with being "plugged in" after I wrote about Nicholas Carr's new book, "The Shallows" on what the Internet is doing to our brain.

I think rather than continue to do "research" on what's best, I'm formulating an idea of a plan to have certain times that are Internet-free.  That already happens for me pretty naturally with taking care of a household and three busy children.  But I do find my checking e-mail or just clicking around on the Internet to be seeping into lots of time that could be spent more interestingly.  Do you have a time or day when you do not connect with the world in any way?  What do you do with that time?

1 comment:

  1. About 8 years ago, i read a wonderful book citing how tv affected the brains of young children. what we know is that tv images, especially the constant flashing of new and stimulating images and action, can really play havoc with the young child's mind... and the adult's.
    The constant inflow of stimulus can actually produce something simlar to the addictive effect of drugs.
    The internet can be very much the same.
    Right now i am reading the book "BOYS ADRIFT" by Leonard Sax. He has some interesting information to quote about the effect of computer games on little boys' brains. Frankly, its scary stuff.
    I am no techno phobe and as a homeschooling mama i LOVE access to information. However, there is a discipline- perhaps the virture lost to the current generation- that of being willing to wait.
    I find myself singing the old 60's tune "Anticipation" (was that Carly Simon?!) a lot around my house. My daughter wants to google everything. My son only wants a quick fix. It has become so hard to wait...to hold a question in one's mind for hours, or days, or even a month, while slowly integrating and discovering new information on the topic of curiosity.
    This is something we are working on here- being willing to wait. to anticipate. to hang on to thoughts or ideas that should grow precious to us over time as we savor the process of learning.