I think the most frustrating experience with the internet is TL;DR—too long, didn’t read. I have a long list of longer articles that I know interest me and that I want to read but the energy just isn’t there. Or the focus isn’t. Or the time.
How annoying! All this knowledge literally in my lap (or at least near it), and still so out of reach!
I was reading about how productivity may be killing creativity over at Lifehacker, an article about how we distract ourselves by staying online rather than allowing ourselves to go offline and “‘do’ less and ‘think’ more”. There was this long quote from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” that, at the time, was TL;DR. But I knew I wanted to. I knew it was about my hunger for something more than status updates, for information that feels deep and significant and not like another piece of trivia.
Once again, I find myself wanting to write. To rekindle my existence on my blog, because, honestly, this is where I live—in every sense of the word. This is where I want to share what’s happening with me, this is where I want to do my thinking and feeling—not on Facebook or Twitter.
Blogs are still a full meal, while Facebook and Twitter are snacks and lattes. So let me go back to that quote about the loss of the metaphorical “slow food”:
The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks.
I’m not sure if havoc and destruction apply to the effect the internet is having on us, but everything else Pirsig is saying fits—and we are a good 35 years on since he wrote his maintenance manual. Which, by the way, is actually about mindfulness. In a world where we are inundated with sound bytes and short messages and multi-tasking, mindfulness is becoming the next big thing. People do want depth, and pause, and room to both explore and finish a thought.
Sitting here, ignoring the fact that it’s past my dinnertime, losing myself in typing, thinking, wondering how my reader(s) will receive this has been a wonderful moment of down-time, of focusing on one task. This little bit of writing has calmed me.
TL;DW: Too long, didn’t write.
Not any more.