I was listening to Greg Fitzsimmons’ Fitzdog Radio podcast the other day with guest Chris Hardwick aka “The Nerdist” aka the dude that use to host Singled Out with Jenny McCarthy. Hardwick has managed to brand himself as a tech guru, writing for Wired and hosting his own podcast and Web Soup while still doing the stand up comedy thing. His nerd-centric shtick normally doesn’t do it for me, but I strongly recommend listening to his episode on Fitzdog Radio, specifically the last fifteen minutes.
Greg brings up Chris’ article in Wired about time management and it leads to a very interesting discussion. My favorite quote from Hardwick: “The internet tricks you into thinking you’re busy all the time because your brain is constantly engaged.” You see, I feel like I’ve been suffering from some Internet burnout lately. With today’s technology, we’re connected 24/7 and conditioned to believe that if we’re not constantly online, we’re missing something. And the thing is, that’s just not true.
Just because our brains are stimulated by news feeds and updates and page refreshes doesn’t mean anything’s actually happening. Just because we’re engaged with our computer monitors, doesn’t mean we’re learning or doing anything. More is not always necessary or better. Technology is great, but it’s how you use it.
The idea of being connected at all times is a selling point for some, but to me it’s a downfall. I don’t want to know everything that’s happening in the world at this very moment, and conversely, you shouldn’t want to know everything about me. If we’re overwhelmed with constant barrages of information, there’s no time for thought, reflection or reaction. I believe everyone needs to take a step back, enjoy the real world and their real relationships, and turn off the digital noise to recharge yourself.