How do you use the internet? Well, besides the very obvious act of sitting in front of your favorite screen and reading these words. And these. And the ones to follow.
There are different ways of using the internet and I’m struggling with that right now. On one hand, you can create things of value: blog posts, record keeping, lesson plans, deepened knowledge. On the other hand (which is very often the same hand), you can consume content until your brain leaks: social media, Pinterest, reading blog posts, chasing links reading one thing after another. I’ve shaken both hands, sometimes at the same time. While I kid that I would have gotten nothing accomplished in college with today’s internet (remember the dial-up excitement of the 90s?), I also know for a fact that an iPad or even a first generation iPod would have made music school a lot easier. I was at Northwestern University the other day for a homeschool event; while sitting in a lobby I watched the students peck at their laptops between classes and turned a really ugly shade of green…16 years after I got my undergrad. Soooo much easier.
But I digress. As usual.
Being constantly plugged in has its pluses and minuses, and sorting those out is today’s challenge. I can’t turn off my phone, it’s the only phone in the house. I don’t want to turn off my internet, Pandora keeps me sane. And I’d shut down the browser and email and any possible thing that could distract me, but I need those to actually get work done. The problem arises when I need to write (and my writing projects are increasing daily, much to my
soul-crushing fear of failure delight) and my brain whimpers for relief.
“Jen! Just five minutes on Facebook! Share some posts on your blog page! Connect people! See if someone posted a funny picture of a cat doing the cha-cha with a tangerine in the backseat of a Edsel!!”
My God, I can’t even finish this without allowing distractions to smack my brain around. However, the cat was quite amusing.
To create or to consume, that is the question (sorry Shakespeare).
So what is your answer?