Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Information Underload

So I went exactly two days without using a real computer. Of course I used the poor substitution that is my phone for reading email and the occasional blog entry. Now, I sit at a computer in a local library in south Georgia. Once again fixing my jones for the blog world. Although I keep getting distracted by the same geode I noticed on a shelf and stared at 30 years ago.

Of course, I haven't looked at my blog reader yet. I track over 100 blogs a day which means generally I read about a thousand entries. I'm almost ascared to look at it right now.

Despite my now slightly sated internet addiction it has been amazing how quickly I have been able to unplug. I believe we sometimes forget that there is a vast world out there that does not refresh google news ten times a day, turn on CNN first thing in the morning and has never read a blog. Flyover states, red states, the sticks, whatever you want to call these idyllic places that are as foreign to some in the internet world as the internet is foreign to them. It makes you begin to question just how much the online world really matters.

Where before I was constantly drenched with information, now I am limited to the local paper, the local news and NPR. This means I get quick jolts from the information hypodermic instead of the slow steady drip of an IV bag.

The strange thing is that I don't feel I am missing out. I know there have probably been a thousand pieces of minutiae and a dozen blog storms since I disconnected but I don't feel as if I missed that much.

I know that the immigration bill's passage in the Senate is imminent. I know that President Bush is sending 6,000 National Guard to the border. I know that Georgia gubenatorial candidate Cathy Cox has finally begun running TV ads. That's what I know and I feel pretty comfortable with it.

If someone like me who used to be wired 24/7 feels okay with knowing the top layer issues, how do the thousands of other people in the sticks feel? Probably the same way except they know a little more about local topics than I do.

Thoughts worth pondering for the internet activist of the world. Your consumers are voracious but there's a lot of people that have never heard of you and probably never will. The internet has created unlimited possibilities to present message and have discussion. It should not become a limiting agent because we have blinders on that it is the end all and be all of those very things.

Now it is time to catch up on the blogs but then I am going to cut some grass and get ready to head to my niece's high school graduation in Florida.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it when I unplug for summer travels. Of course, I'm so lame I barely even read the paper. When I get back online, it's like a whole new, shiny, sparkly world to explore.