Monday, January 3, 2011


Have you ever thought what the Internet is doing to us by providing too much information too frequently?

My iPhone beeped yesterday and I started to read it, "Fox News Breaking News…"

"I don't want to hear it," Celeste said before I could get to the good part.

I was taken aback, as you might imagine. How could anyone resist hearing what follows the words "breaking news?" When I asked, she said she'd hear it sooner or later. Right now she wanted to enjoy what she was doing.

Actually, she was sitting with Storming Norman, the cat, on the swing on the screened-in porch reading a book as sounds from the water feature filled the air so I could understand why she didn't want to hear some news that turned out to be so unimportant I can't remember what it was now.

Her reaction made me think about how the instant availability of information is negatively affecting us daily. One example is the way I used my iPhone to look up information during discussions at social gatherings. Rather than help, it tends to be a downer to always be right. Instead of an interesting discussion about who was or wasn't in a particular movie, I can access the cast list with a few clicks. But, as I said, it wasn't as helpful as you might think. So, at the last two parties I went to, I left my phone in the car and had some better conversations because of it.

Another example. I've found myself going to the computer more than once a day to check book sales. I check CreateSpace for print edition sales, Amazon for Kindle sales, and for other eBook sales. I have to admit it is fun to see the numbers rise, but it is equally discouraging when they don't.

When my first book came out in 1983, I had to wait three months for a royalty report before learning how sales were going. Now, I'm lucky to wait three hours.

So, one of my resolutions for next year is to relax, enjoy free time, and check the news less.

How about you? Have you had problems adjusting to ease of access to information?

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