Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sticky Fingers

The advertising agency JWT recently released the results of a poll taken by 1,011 adults. The results may not surprise you. 15 % said they would feel uncomfortable going without Internet access for a day; 21% said they might make it a couple of days; 19% said “a few days” was okay. Just a fifth said they could hang on for a week. I myself have been forced offline for long stretches. I lived to tell the tale, but it was not pretty. I need my daily fix of favorite blogs and bulletin boards just like my vitamin pill. What would I do without YOU, gentle readers?

The survey also found that 20 percent of the respondents said they spend less time having sex because they are online. I’m not going to touch that finding.

Generally, people are communicating electronically more often than face-to-face. E-mail has replaced paper notices and eliminated endless meetings in school systems and offices. Sociologists are probably rubbing their hands in woe, but the fact is your known world can be boring and inefficient. An e-pal may seem like more fun than an old friend. In Third-Rate Romance, the heroine Kelly’s husband Bob runs off with a blackjack dealer he “meets” on the Internet. Poor Kelly can’t even shuffle cards, and Bob knows all her tricks anyway.

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Novels, movies and TV were once criticized for dooming relationships; now it’s online entertainment. Who knows what other addiction we’ll come up with to avoid reality in the future?

Do you, like me, spend too much time online? Are you totally wired? Blackberried? I-phoned? Do you think you could go back to the Stone Age of drop-in visits, phone calls, newspapers and letter-writing? Text all.


BernardL said...

Anything that keeps our minds active, without causing a descent into obsessive/compulsive behavior is a good thing. I've learned more about publishing and agents in the last year than I ever dreamed of. By visiting the numerous writing blogs, the trials and tribulations of getting published have become abundantly clear. :)

Ladytink_534 said...

I have some things I do online daily (check blogs, emails, etc) and my day just doesn't start right until I do.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

I'm with you, Bernard. It's like I was boxing in the dark with an invisible opponent until I discovered the writing resources on the web. Now, I may not write any better, but I know what I'm SUPPOSED to do, LOL.

Ladytink, I power up first thing too, drink my tea and eat my toast as I read newspapers online and visit other sites. My husband leaves for work much earlier than I do, so I'm not guilty that I'm not fixing him breakfast!

Terri Osburn said...

Hi, I'm Terri and I'm an internet addict.

*waits for the "Hi, Terri" back*

I'm afraid I can't go without my internet. It's horrible. I get anxious and I worry about all the emails piling up. What am I missing in the blogs and on the boards? What shall I do?

I won't even stay in a hotel anymore if it doesn't have internet. But I figure there are worse things I could do. I'm not internetting and driving, I don't spend a lot of money on it and I do walk away from time to time to do laundry or feed the child.

So it's a vice. It's brought me a world of new friends, a new life in romance writing and taken me places I've never been. That can't be a bad thing. *g*

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

T, I'm your sister in vice. And after all, the Internet has brought me to you and all the other fun writing folks! I only got kind of scary during the Avon contest---I'm all cured now.

irisheyes said...

My whole family is internet addicted! It gets turned on in the morning and doesn't get turned off again until we go to bed.

I kind of think it's a necessity these days. Especially for any parent raising children. You definitely don't want them knowing their way around a computer or the internet when you don't. At least that's how I justify it!

I'm with you guys, though. It could be worse...I could be wasting my time sitting around reading all day. Oh, wait, I do that too! LOL

I do think it's awesome. I think it brings people together. Improves avenues of communication. And finally it is an unbelievable resource for any type of information you may be looking for. There are, or course, some scary aspects to it (that the DH has drilled into our heads over and over and over again), but thankfully I haven't encountered any of those *keeping my fingers and toes crossed*. Basically, it's the future and I don't want to be left behind.

Janga said...

I'm another Internet addict, and not infrequently I resolve to waste less time. I have recently cut my blog/board roll. Life's too short to spend time IRL or in cyberspace with people who do nothing but raise my blood pressure or depress me.

But the Internet is an almost inexhaustible source of information. If I want the latest critical views on a text I am teaching, need to know the kind of wood kitchen cabinets are made of in multi-million dollar homes, or what happened to the California branch of my father's family, I can find answers online.

And while I do find it disturbing that some people seem to have replaced face-to-face communication with virtual encounters, I love being able almost effortlessly to keep in touch visually and verbally with far-flung family members and friends.

Finally, I love the romance reading and writing communities that I belong to via the Internet. To find intelligent, articulate, witty, warm people who love the books I do has been an immeasurable delight and comfort.

I don't plan on giving up my addiction anytime soon. :)

Gillian Layne said...

What a timely post!!

I'm "back" after the ice storm knocked out our power for two days and the internet for 9. You know, it's like being in a bubble! On the other hand, I got a lot done with no blog surfing.

As my job's paperwork is internet driven, it was really inconvenient.

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe said...

Welcome to civilization, Gillian! Everything in my library is computerized; when the system's down, I have to resort to signouts on paper and sending kids to find books in the general vicinity of the Dewey Decimal system classification.

Janga, I agree with every eloquent point you made. I'm also trying not to make so many blog stops---hope you'll still visit here! *g*

Irish, I was the last in my family to succumb to Internet addiction, but I've got it now. My kids made e-pals with people all over the world, and now I've done the same.