Friday, October 07, 2005

In Recovery

From what I've read, it's customary to begin a post explaining why you've not been blogging for a while with an apology but if I were to do that it would be insincere so I won't. Apologies are appropriate when there has been an infraction of some kind but I don't think that's the case when one takes a hiatus from blogging. Now, when I move over to paid subscriptions and I miss a few days, then I'll apologize. 

Anyway, the demands of ministry as well as the necessity to get more pressing writing done have kept me away from this venue. At first I was slightly anxious about not having anything new to post but I soon got over it. I also didn't miss my regular trips to sitemeter and TTLB to see my ranking. I even fell behind in keeping up with my daily reads of the blogs I subscribe to via Bloglines

Overall, the time away was good for me. It helped me refocus on what’s really important and where my priorities should lie (a lesson I am forever in need of being taught). The time away also helped me realize the necessity and benefit of not waiting until life’s pressures force me away from being computer-bound but to take intentional steps to see to it that I do not allow technology to become my master. I took a small step toward this yesterday. I previously had my email program set to check for mail every 15 minutes. I’ve changed that to 45 and may up it to 60. My easily distracted and curious mind has frequently been sidetracked by the notification of new arrivals in my inbox. Too often I stopped what I was doing to read and immediately respond to the new messages, wondering why, at the end of the day, I didn’t get as much accomplished as I had hoped.

Among the blogs I made it a point to catch up with were some interesting posts related to the problem of media saturation:

Milton Stanley humbly articulated what I too have to confess -- “I’ve been spending way too much time on the computer and far too little time in prayer."

Al Mohler commented on this article by Lowell Monke about the adverse consequences of children spending excessive amounts of time on computers:

Computers have their place, and can be great learning tools for certain subjects. But children are now spending far too much time staring at electronic screens and “learning” through digitalized programs of study. Dancing electronic dots have replaced human interaction. Monke understands that education requires far more than this – and that what happens on the playground is important too.
(I shudder to think what I would be like if I had been exposed to computers at such an early age.)

Thanks to
Macht for linking to Byron Borger’s impressive bibliography of books “that can help us think Christianly about cyberspace and computer science.”

Finally, in an Outtake item he called “
Info Addicts,” Joe Carter cited a Ball State University study that found the average person spends more time using media devices than any other activity while awake. According to one of the researchers:

Television is still the 800-pound gorilla because of how much the average person is exposed to it. However, that is quickly evolving. When we combine time spent on the Web, using e-mail, instant messaging and software such as word processing, the computer eclipses all other media with the single exception of television.
Joe’s reference to information addiction brings to mind a vivid mental image that popped into my head not long ago. I'll set it forth for your consideration in the form of a question. Are bloggers analogous to a room full of bulimics feeding each other?

Bon Appetit!


DAVID C. PRICE said...

Guilty as charged. I am with you all the way. While away at a conference this last weekend, I went without a computer for five days and loved it. No pressure to post to my blog (because I couldn't), no obsession of seeing what others were writing, no magnetic forces pulling me to the laptop to see who just emailed me what probably amounts to a page full of moderately funny jokes or a political cartoon of some sort. Nothing, nada, zippo...and it was great. I certainly enjoy all these things, but breaks from them are a definite necessity. I'm working on scheduling more of these kinds of "technology sabbaticals" or "blogging sabbaths" in the future. The body, mind and spirit desperately need them.

Milton Stanley said...

Glad to hear you're moving beyond media saturation, and that you found something helpful on TS! Peace.

Kerry Doyal said...

May the 800 lb. Gorilla lose much weight.