My summer started with this video from TEDX by Sherry Turkle entitled "Connected but Alone".
In many ways this is a scary realization and place to be for me. If you ask any of my friends, I am probably the most connected person they know. So much so, that I have been very conscious this year about not using my phone to check email during passing periods at school, or while I am in classrooms, or in the cafeteria. Today for the first time I used my computer during lunch to catch up on email, because I had over 40 for the morning and was waiting on an urgent email from a teacher who I might have needed assistance in preparing for his next class.
But as I have aged this year, I have come to realize that sometimes this connectedness is distracting. I no longer can multi-task to the degree that I could when I was younger, much to the delight of Dan Funston our assistant superintendent who does not believe that people can multitask. While I still read extensively, I can never seem to catch up on all my reading-I currently have over 60 articles in my Read it Later App (Pocket), and I have not checked my Feedly account for 2 weeks so the articles have probably piled up to close to 1000. It is not that I am not selective in what I read, but it is that there is so much more out their to interact with. The ultimate may have come this weekend when I was at the wedding reception of one of my former students. During dinner, as my wife chatted with a colleague from work and my daughter played with the Orbies that were filling glasses as a table decoration, I watched Notre Dame battle Purdue on my iPhone propped up against a bowl of nachos with the sound turned off. I am not sure what was worse, that I was doing this, or that one of the pastors from our church was hanging over my shoulder because he was getting poor reception on his phone.
I am not ready to disconnect quite yet, as I keep finding more positives than negatives from being online. But I am starting to realize that I need to monitor not so much how I am using the Net, but rather where I am using it and to what ends. How is your internet habit hindering your potential?