Information Addiction

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Information Addiction

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Technology can be a wonderful thing but if used improperly it can be a real headache. I love the internet as a tool for finding things or executing things (shopping, etc) but I’ve found an interesting thing going on with me lately. I seem to be addicted to new information.

I’ve got a few different e-mails going which I use for different things. One for bills, one for blogs, one for some of my UWM and social things. I have an iPod Touch which can check all of them and give me an indicator for when new mails come up, this is nice so that I don’t lose track of them. I’m also on Facebook and I have a Myspace account which I really don’t use anymore. Grudgingly I have a Twitter account which I only have because so many people use it, although I don’t see the value in the concept and I don’t think Twitter will be much of anything in a year and a half. But it apparently helps my Google score.

So I have these things which can connect me to other people and businesses which is nice. But I recently found myself constantly checking for updates on these things. Now again, my iPod Touch is nice because there’s an app for pretty much all of this so I can have easy updates. But I’m constantly checking this thing. Then I’ll flip open the laptop and start doing Wikipedia searches and Googling information on actors and authors and other fun stuff. I unfortunately found myself doing way too much time on Mafia Wars, the Facebook game and then it kind of hit me how much time I’m spending looking for things.

I really spend a lot of time looking for things online. I know, it’s ironic that I’m blogging about it now and that’s adding time to my digital wasteland but I actually decided today to limit how much I was doing. No waking up and flipping on the laptop, do things later. No Mafia Wars today, no stupid videos on ebaumsworld.com or YouTube. I was just fine and actually got way more done today than I thought I would.

This makes me wonder, what is prompting my excessive time in cyberspace? This craving for information seems to draw me away from other things so maybe I’m stressed and this is an escape. I have had a lot going on lately with job interviews, volunteer efforts, new baby, and other projects on the horizon. I also haven’t had a lot of social time so maybe I’m lacking in the decompression.

Whatever it is I see it going on and recognize that there are many forms of escapism. Some people turn on the TV and watch the flickering images for a couple hours and don’t think about daily life. Others bury themselves in video games. This is a newer form of digital escapism, I just read an article on CNN.com the other day which found a correlation between depression and excessive video game usage. Well I think I may be using kilobytes as my escapism so this is a nice indicator that I probably need to slow down a bit and decompress.

I should probably clarify, I have stress in my life but it’s not actually negative things. A new baby is a great thing, my volunteer efforts are opening doors faster than I can see, and the job searching and interviewing is teaching me so many things about my career path. I’m very happy all these opportunities are presenting themselves, I just need to remember that I have limited energy and can’t do everything. So maybe I need to kill a bit of the data intake and work on some energy restoration. I have an great book I’m halfway through, I should finish that. I should work on my QiQong breathing more as well as try more of the Tai Chi workouts on my DVD. There are things which would bring me far more benefit than knowing more about Frank Welker’s voice over career.

So I guess I put this out there to say that I just had an Ah-Ha moment where I realized I had way too much data time and that maybe I need to focus my time/energy on some other things. I’m glad I recognized it when I did. Now I challenge you, are you doing anything that is escapist? Is there anything that may be pulling you away from something important going on? It’s kind of strange how it creeps up on you. How many trees have buds on them right now? There’s a Zen exercise for you 🙂

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