Tuesday, April 15, 2003

My new apartment is lovely, I think. A round leather table sits comfortably next to my cherry wood desk, and all 650 books rest on the bookshelves. Most things have settled into their places now.

But my apartment lacks two things. There’s no internet connection, and there’s no cable TV hookup (in fact, the TV isn’t even hooked up to receive local channels).

This is deliberate. For one, the internet connection causes me problems with porn, and I want to free myself of its influence for awhile so that I can re-establish a healthy relationship with an internet connection.

But also, the internet and television are black holes for free time. Sure, I can use TV or the ‘net to unwind, but I can use a book for the same purpose, and I’d rather be reading books than watching TV anyway.

I’ve been observing the effect of this situation for the past few days, and I’ve noticed a tendency in our culture to “catch up.” We jump on the internet so we can catch up on current events, and our favorite webcomics, and blogs, and message boards. This becomes a routine, then a habit, then an obsession. And I don’t think it’s essentially natural.

Sure, it’s good to know what’s going on in our world. But people seem to feel that they need to be “caught up.”

Maybe we don’t need to be as connected to the pulse of our world as we are. Maybe we’d be better off if we spent more time in gardens and less time reading Slashdot.

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