I’ve recently read a few articles of social media and the writing life, and this has affected the way I think about both.
There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”
The one I can remember off the top of my head on the writing life: Why Write Fiction in 2017?
Unthinkable amounts of money are spent every day to engage the part of us that unceasingly wants—wants not just food and shelter, sex and security, power and status, but information, novelty, and connectedness. We are assailed at all turns by cravings; we are pulled in every direction by our desires. As twenty-first-century first-world humans, our first act in the morning is to check our phones—the nineteenth-century word we use to familiarize the glowing portals we carry with us, windowpanes we caress until they show us what we want. But writing, by necessity, means saying no to all of that. It’s an activity that must be monotasked—there is no other way to do it. And so it reminds us how it felt to do only one thing.
I’ve always maintained a healthy skepticism for all social media, and a lot of respect for solitude, especially when writing.
Each year, I go on hiatus at the end of the year, and this one is no exception. I’m taking off a little early– for the next two weeks, I’ll draw back from online life. More reading, less time on social media, more time with family and with myself, less time in front of screens.
This is a time to cherish our relationships of all hues, shapes and intensities. I’m taking time off to be with books, with nature, and loved ones. I hope you’re able to find some time to relax with your friends and family as well.
Here’s wishing everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season! See you all in the new year.
How much time do you spend on social media? How does that affect your life? Do you ever take a social media hiatus? What plans do you have for the holidays?
I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.
We’re taking a small break this December, and gather again in January. meanwhile, we’ll share all the wonderful #WATWB posts on social media.
Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment this Friday, the January 26th, 2018.
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