Saturday, May 31, 2008

Everything in moderation

I really enjoy blogging. It's a great way for me to keep myself accountable, have interesting exchanges of idea, force myself to research things I'm wondering about, "meet" like-minded people, and a chance for me to be a little creative.

I also enjoy reading other people's blogs, and surfing the internet. The problem is that I've turned into a bit of a computer potato lately. I've never been much into watching tv for hours on end, but I've found I've fallen into the habit lately of getting up, turning on the water for coffee or tea, and sitting down to check my email. All three accounts. Then I read comments on my blog. Then I check out facebook for a while, read other blogs, check the news, pay bills, look at links in emails friends and families have sent me, and by that point I usually can start the whole process all over again.

The problem is, I end up spending waaaay too much time online every day, and way too little time actually doing things. It's a lot easier to justify too much time online than it is too much TV - after all, being online allows many benefits TV doesn't - staying in touch with people, educating yourself about new topics, even making some extra cash selling stuff - but it can also become a mindless way to disconnect with the world around us. So, I’ve decided I’ll have scheduled internet time for myself. It won’t be until later in the day, so that I’ll be much more likely to get carried away doing other projects and put off my internet time, rather than the other way around.

While we were away last weekend, we had no internet connection available (no phone either) and I was surprised to find that I didn’t miss it all that much. Somehow, though, when the computer is sitting there looking at me, I just have to crack it open and see what fun I’m missing out on. I think I’ll try something similar to what my parents did a long time ago – when I was really little, they kept the television in a closet, so that when they wanted to watch it, there had to be a conscious effort to pull it out and plug it in. I think that’s what I’ll do – physically put the laptop away until it’s time to pull it out to work on a blog or pay bills.

I’ve read posts from others thinking along similar lines lately – it’s not that I don’t have the time or energy to blog, because I do, and I’ll continue to do so. It just may not be every day, because I’m hoping to be too busy doing other things some days. I have a feeling that won’t be a problem, once I actually get off the couch and turn this machine off.


Green Plan(t) said...

I have the same problem moderating myself online. Part of it is because I was without regular internet access for over a year! Now that I have it, I want to be on all the time.

I justify it the same way you've done, that it's not as bad as television because it's interactive and educational.

I'm going to try and keep offline until later in the day as well. It seems that when I get online first thing in the morning, I end up justifying staying online for a looooong time.

Green Bean said...

It is really hard to find a balance. I definitely ebb and flow on this. I get busy doing other stuff from time to time but then get sucked back in again.

I put together an electronic newsletter this month for my city's green task force. It was our first ever so it took me hours to find a program, put together a pretty template and then gather content, write an article, etc. I definitely put in way too much time this month! I need to turn this thing off and go take care of my potato plants. See ya.