Yesterday a thought blasted like a horn through my foggy mind as I stood somewhere gaping at my phone and thumbing through pics and info:
This phone is making me stupid!
Then, softer, clearer: This behaviour is making me stupid.
Straight away I considered an extended break from teh socialz, particularly FB. But I am reluctant, because there are upsides to the place. I am glad to have excellent friends there. They post good links and quality lolz.
Then today I spotted this headline in a friend’s feed:
and immediately clicked because that’s what I mean. Too much information.
I wasn’t surprised to find that others are already considering our stupefying online behaviour. Digital information is affecting our thinking, and our eyes scan the printed page differently than a screen.
Spending so much time online (TEN! HOURS! A! DAY! according to this piece I flitted past) also has the potential to drain the well of creativity or certainly suck up a sizeable portion of time that could otherwise go to creative pursuits or the very important time doing nothing.
Creative thought happens when I’m in the moment (as they say), and rarely when I’m connected to a gadget. In other words, feeding your head (as Lewis Carroll didn’t quite say, but Grace Slick did) is not so much about reading every.single.thing. that you can get your eyes on, but about giving your mind time to wander.
Personally, I don’t feel I can concentrate the way I used to. I find it harder to sit still and focus for long periods of time. Sometimes, reading a book, I catch myself skimming left-hand pages and reading right-hand pages.
But I don’t think the phone has killed my creativity (yet), and I’m not swamped (yet) by idea debt…my lifelong need to draw has resurfaced lately and I’m happy to give it as much free time as I can. But that resurfacing could be a warning sign from deep in the brain: fix the creative leak. Feed your head.
There’s a site to help with that! I could take two minutes and start now.
Then, perhaps it’s time to consider a different approach to connected life.