Scientifically focused geeks like myself,have a tendency to speak highly of the web. We see Skype, MSN, and Facebook as great technical marvels. Yet as someone like Tim Ferris or Cal Newport observe there is a price to this connectedness.
Today for instance there was a family wedding in Ireland. I wasn’t able to attend due to examinations next week in my own studies. Yet through text messages and Skype conversations I feel like I’m half there.
Which means that concentration is difficult. Yet concentration is something I need to develop the rare and valuable skills of a Mathematician. Or whatever discipline I end up working in.
We should remember that we are fundamentally limited by the hardware of our brains. And limited by our humanity. We shouldn’t forget the effects of technology or modern day life on our cognitive load.
Mick Bremner wrote a post on this a few years ago.
Now, as time goes on and I realize that moving home every couple of years is actually taking a toll on my relationships with people that I care very much about I realize that, possibly, my writing can help the situation. I’m reluctantly realizing that I’m rarely ever going to be able to spend long afternoons chatting with my dearest friends over (good) coffee. But maybe if I keep this blog up to date then at least they might have some chance of keeping track of what’s going on with me.
My own Facebook and Twitter accounts have friends and family all around the world. I’ve friends who live in Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York, London, Adelaide and everywhere in between. And as Ben Casnocha pointed out, there is a ‘feel bad effect’ to Facebook of not-so-close-facebook-friends.
Constantly we see upbeat images, or happy occasions. Rarely the daily struggles of our existences. When we read CV’s or resumes of people in our respective fields we don’t hear about the struggles of their lives.
This is written to point out that everything I do in life seems to be an absolute struggle.