the web we weave

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.  – Author Unknown

Over the years, I’ve given up smoking and cut out caffeine because they did more harm than good. I’ve dropped entire food groups because I am allergic to seemingly everything. I get my tans from bottles. I don’t do plastic bags.

I am a girl with few vices.

Perhaps that is why I get a little freaked out when my heart races upon realizing I’ve left home without my phone, or find myself feeling sudden doom when the modem is down. I can come up with a thousand ways to justify my need for these things and even complain about them (often), but really, I must confess, I want them in my life. I like them. Mostly.

At my desk writing, I find myself shuffling stations on Pandora, checking twitter periodically as I work, letting the dogs out and making some tea, sending emails, reading a few blog posts, checking the CNN feed and making a call, then maybe posting an instagram before I return to write once again. And if I need to run a few errands, well, the tweeting, the emails, and all that jazz come along for the ride. It’s all surprisingly calm and productive. It works.

It’s like some sort of postmodern dance, well choreographed and often inspiring. Except for the days when it’s more like a bad interpretive dance, more train wreck than ballet; when the writing just doesn’t flow and I lose that rhythm that keeps me moving from one thing to the next. And that’s when I need to get outside for a bit.

Outside. Fresh air. Breezy afternoons. Vitamin D. I don’t do that enough. Go outside just for the sake of the outdoors.

Most days it’s that techno-waltz, from work to web and back again. But those walks really do make a difference.

I wonder what is happening to our brains? It’s like multi-tasking has replaced single-tasking entirely. Most days we multi-task. And some days we’re super-tasking. (If you can come up with a better word for multi-multi-tasking, let me know. I don’t know if it exists in our 21st century lexicon although it absolutely should.)

Internet, sometimes I hate you so much I think we just need to break up. Because when I find I haven’t been able to get anywhere with what I’m writing and I decide to spend a few minutes online and those few minutes become two hours, well, you win.

Or maybe not.

It was Marthe Troly-Curtin and not Bertrand Russell who said, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time,” but it was Russell who said, “The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.”

In that case, Internet, I win this round. Or maybe, we’ll just call it a tie. Now, take a walk.  xo a.

(Thanks Peter, for encouraging me to read a bit more B. Russell.)

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