Daily Archives: May 28, 2010

This Frightens Me

This, from Nicholas Carr, frightens me: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains.

The idea of my brain being rewired to think shallowly is frightening, and I feel like you can see its effects in my blog. There are more and more twitter-like posts. My excuse is that this comes from a purported lack of time, but I’m sure the time is there. It’s just that the time is being interrupted by all these foraging sessions: check facebook, check twitter. I spend lunch browsing the web, when I could be enriching my mind. The siren call of being plugged into the news cycle is pretty strong, though. But following the news can be so vapid at times! Who the fuck cares if Obama looks angry enough about the oil spill? (I should probably should read Matt Drudge, and I’ll know what all the talking heads will be droning on about for the next week; it’d be more efficient.)

Being jobless sucked, but my mind was a little less jumbled. I know I complained about internet addiction even then, but there were positive signs. I had been meditating. I had reduced e-mail checking to twice (once!) a day. All that is gone, gone, gone. As life changes drastically, habits are uprooted.

I want to change this way of life where I flit from meme to meme. I want to be able to focus. I want to spend a little bit more time writing so that I can be a model for my students. I want to rewire my brain towards focus, so I can out-think all the information-foragers out there. Thinking like a strategist is rare enough and will probably be more valuable in this age.

Hearing about graduation also scares me. It’s been a full year since I’ve been out of college. I don’t feel like I have enough awesomeness to show for it. I’m still proud of keeping my comic up, and slowly growing (over 600 fans on facebook now) — the artwork has even changed a bit –, but I had lofty goals that I never fulfilled. My social life also got better. I think I did more awesome things. I even began planning parties, which is crazy if you think back to the super-introverted person I was in middle school. Oh, and I dress better. Fuck yeah.

It’s not enough, though. The awesomeness quotient has missed growth expectations. Complacency is at an all-time high. It’s surprising given the kind of person I think I should be, but it’s not that surprising given the circumstances. I was jobless for many moons, so I was thankful just to have a job! There was still uncertainty until my contract got extended. So I finally have some stability. I have a good cash-flow. My greedy eyes love this, and take possession of it, even taking possession of the money that hasn’t come yet. I mean, I count on this future money to make purchases of the things I covet. If I get this cash in two weeks, then I’ll be 3/4s of the way to buying this way cool thing. But consumerism doesn’t equal awesomeness. That comes from making, not consuming.

I know I have enough time to do everything I’m doing now and be more awesome. It’s a matter of minimizing interruptions and re-ordering my priorities. If what gets measured gets managed, then I need to measure awesomeness from week to week, and on a monthly basis. Let’s see what happens.