The Technology Tornado
I’m not a real multitasker. I’m not writing this message with four chat boxes open on facebook (Then again, I’m lucky if I chat with one person during the whole week on facebook.), my phone is generally silent, I don’t pay for text (I’m part of my family’s unlimited texting plan, but since I don’t pay for texts, I can’t use it.), I don’t have music playing because I generally can’t concentrate with music and my study room that I sit in right now is silent, because I’m the only one in it.
However, I have noticed a lot of anti multitasking technology articles recently. I read one in Reader’s Digest which talked about a family going on a electronics fast for six months. (Well, it was suppose to. It more talked about her reasonings behind the fast.), I’m pretty sure I read another one and now I just read a post on wordpress about how much technology rules.
The fact is for me it does. I have a mac. If you didn’t know, on a mac you can instantly switch between applications by doing command-tab, and between windows by command-` (tilde?). So right up to this point in my post, I have checked facebook, checked my mail when a message came in, and checked my school e-mail, all with a flick of the buttons and generally several times. I have been known to do google searches while writing, check blog stats, check freshly pressed posts, and all sorts of things. I’ve even gotten to the point where if something is too long, I won’t read it. (Now, obviously, interesting and type of font play into that decision too.)
The fact is that all of these distractions play a role. When I first began writing, I had an old clamshell computer. The internet was so slow on that thing I didn’t even use it initially, nor did I have a reason then. But I spent hours on it a day after school writing. I wrote five stories (with only one edit. I didn’t know about editing then) of about 70-80 pages average in a year. I wrote five short stories in the span of five months (all of which won a writing contest.)
Then I met an internet friend and we started writing together. My writing time went down as our writing time went up. (All it in the beginning was garbage however.) I learned a lot from writing with her, yes, but I have never written as much as I did when I spent hours without internet.
Now, if I really need to write, I turn off my internet. It’s so easy for me to just switch between appleworks to safari and check facebook, or e-mail, or a fact. I need to do that more though. Because sometimes facebook has a lot of active friends, and sometimes there are more fun stories in my e-mail than what I am writing right now and sometimes, I can’t find my fact right away.
I was recently challenged to write every day. I don’t count blogging as writing. Blogging is blogging. I’m never going to really make a lot of money from having a blog. However, if I am published, I can maybe make some money. I think I have a better chance at least at making more money from being published than from having a blog. (And I say that because my brother had a blog with 1000+ viewers and he barely earned $100 in a year.)
There I go again, checking my pages. And waiting to ask my brother how many viewers he really had.
I want to write and yet, I don’t want to write (or edit). However, I think I have skill. I need to use that skill. It’s pretty much the only thing I can do well at the moment.
Maybe even the internet is why it seems that we don’t have as many good books out there. Because everyone is checking facebook, e-mail, google, blogs and twitter while trying to write.
So here’s a challenge: Try writing with no internet. If you can turn off your airport, that’s great! I need to do that. If you can’t, you can writing quit your browser completely, or leave a message up that says you’re not allowed on here. And turn off your phone. And tell me if you think it helps. I’ll try doing it too and maybe we can get some good stuff written together.