I’ve been busy elsewhere with fallout from Learning by Grace, Inc., et al, v. Idoni, an artifact from my other life, so I haven’t been blogging about stories, writing, or the audio books I’ve been entertaining myself with, the most recent being Anteater of Death (a cozy mystery set in a zoo) and Foul Matter (a wicked take on the publishing industry by Martha Grimes, with the best hit-men evah!)
A link this morning from one of the writers at SheWrites, though, gave me the opportunity to do a quick link to a piece whose subject is one I’ve thought about: ‘staying in touch online,’ in contrast with the memory of long days of relative solitude, ie, Before the Internet (BI).
- Jonathan Fields: “Creative Kryptonite and the Death of Productivity”
Hyperconnectivity requires a massive volume of switchtasking, which destroys true-productivity and efficiency because every time you page through your various modes of connectivity and respond to different prompts, you lose focus. To regain that focus requires a certain amount of time and cognitive effort.
I’m sure part of my BI wistfulness is nostalgia for youth. When things were slower I was a hell of a lot younger and didn’t have as many ‘things’ to do to maintain a normal-appearing life — hair color? every three weeks? (and no, you don’t have to point out that not only is haircoloring optional but the salon is, too; I get that). But wistful nostalgia aside, I used to get more actual activities done, although I doubt that with four kids, two cats, and a dog, I’d have spent much time online, if we’d had an “online.”
Mr. Fields’s blog post has more to it than mourning a BI life in which the most common non-person-in-front-of-us interruption was the telephone. Then, phones were stuck to the wall so you had to be near one for it to interrupt you, and unless you had one of those long cords, you had to stay within, say, four feet of the phone to continue to use it, as did anyone who called you. About the only wireless devices for everyday people were CB radios or walkie talkies, and you could tell who had in-car telephones from the whip antenna tied in a curve from the trunk to the hood. Cool.
Wistful nostalgia aside, read on at the link to Mr. Fields’s blog to find out about “intermittent reinforcement,” and the “Zeigarnik Effect.”
For me, it’s back to the electron mines. Tschüss.