Saturday, 26 March 2011

Holidaying away from the web

Aurora @ Island Dreaming

I am writing this post whilst lazing in bed, 200 miles from my computer and Internet connection. I had considered rescheduling my post for when we returned home, but realized that this was a good opportunity to try out a much hyped piece of modern technology - the smartphone. This isn't my own, but my much more gadget minded darling other half's, who over the years has amassed quite a collection of electronic wizardry and the assorted tangle of spare cables and wiring that go with it.

This week we are away visiting family, who aren't connected to the Internet. If I was at home, I would be logging on first thing in the morning and probably also in the evening too. If something interesting is occurring somewhere in the world - and there always seems to be something - then I would probably be checking in on that during spare moments too. I have blog feeds to catch up on, email to check and reply to, news sites to read (all of which seem to offer live blogs of various news stories on a seemingly daily basis now). I occasionally take a look at Facebook just in case anyone is trying to contact me. Then there are the forums that I check into on an on-off basis. All of which come embedded with hyperlinks that allow me to hop around the web reading the background, sideshows and tangents of every story I come across.

All in all I could probably fill entire days with online activity. At the end of which I would have achieved very little of actual value and would have a headache. Most of what I do online is a complete energy and time drain that detracts from the things that I would like to be doing. This week I haven't had that luxury. This tiny screen and infuriating touch keyboard, combined with very temperamental mobile broadband has made all of my usual online activity a chore. It has also drawn my attention to the things that I really miss being able to do, the things that when I get home I should use my nice ergonomic PC and Internet connection for.

My own priorities are to streamline my blog feeds and decide whether I need to be reading them everyday. At the same time I would like to be writing and tweaking my own blog a little more often (though I blame pregnancy related brain fog for my recent reluctance to string words together), simply because I enjoy it. I plan to check news sites no more than a handful of times a week and to ignore all the hyperlinks encouraging me to delve into non-stories far more deeply than I need to, instead using the Internet to research things that I actually need and want to know about, not the things I "should" know about.

Everyone's priorities will be different, so how do you manage you time online? Do you find yourself distracted constantly or have you managed to strike a balance?