We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

12 June 2008

How much is too much?

I'm currently reading Enough, Breaking free form the world of more by John Naish, which I discovered through Lisa G's blog, The State I'm In. I'm a great believer, or noticer of synchronicities so when my husband discovered his hotmail account had been hacked and used to spam everyone on his list about chinese computers, I was reading this book and feeling all-luddite again! I often feel overwhelmed with technology but not in itself, I realize, but rather because of the overload of information it brings to my doorstep. Particularly with my son and my quest to find out as much as possible about autistic spectrum disorders, but the trouble is, there is sooo much out there its very difficult to know where to start. I'm back to basics, starting at the library, as my preferred intake of knowledge is through reading books, and not the computer.

So Enough is about simplfying, but also realizing how damaging consumerism is in all its modes, including eating, which is a really interesting chapter, as there's been a barrage of television shows recently on how Britain is getting fatter (like us, its fat American cousins!).

Of course it makes me wonder about keeping up with my blog, and if its really necessary or am I just contributing pointlessly to the info smog. I don't know. I have a job interview later today, and that could determine a big change in my daily life and time schedules.

However, thinking about the hotmail thing, I cancelled my account as I no longer use it, which was probably why my husband's was infiltrated, he rarely uses it.. and I cancelled my Myspace account a few weeks ago as I had experienced a similar hijacking problem with my account sending out some ridiculous bulletins that I of course had no idea about until a friend emailed me. Frankly I found myspace very annoying and rubbishy. Of course I also spend too much time on Facebook, which is also unreal and rubbishy- but not in the same way to me as myspace was. I may do what Bill Gates apparently does once a year, and have a 'think-week' away from the computer. That could go for the television as well.. in fact when we move, I'm considering leaving it behind and making a clean break!
From the book:

"We are so wired to gather information that often we no longer do anything useful with it. Instead of pausing to sift our intake for relevance and quality, the daily diet of prurient, profound, confusing and conflicting information gets chucked on to a mental ashheap of things vaguely comprehended. Then we rush to try to make sense of it all by...getting more."

One point mentioned in the book is that it bears thinking about measuring our computer, tv and other technology time in a reasonable manner, especially for and with our children, as they are growing up completely immersed in this and never knowing anything other. We have hindsight as to what our lives were like as children without computers, but we don't know the true effect it will have on our children as they grow up. That said, my own daughter is shouting at me now which is not a good sign, a sign that I should get off here.

1 comment:

Lisa G said...

Mary, I'm glad you liked this book. I know what you mean about blogs and contributing to the info smog, I had the same thoughts myself but decided that I have found blogs and the blogosphere in general to be useful and supportive in my search for info about Aspergers and home educating etc. I think it's all about striking a balance and cutting the chaff - blogging and blog reading with a purpose I guess.
I really liked reading your blog so I hope you continue with it.