Do your share my conundrum?
The sticky web of the internet is the glue of social networking and virtual collaboration. At first you dance gingerly on the tips of your toes making very few contacts. Then, you relax somewhat and find a comfortable position from which to observe. Before long you are connected to many others by sticky strands of the communication web. It feels good to be part of something so large and so powerful. When your contacts are moved by a prevailing winds the butterfly effect ensures that you too will feel the impact. Ultimately you seek to draw others into the same web and as the web grows you are spinning yourself into a compact cocoon tethered to hundreds maybe even millions of others in your social network. So goes the relentless terms of engagement requisite on the web.
About June of last year, two years into my own journey to explore and connect through the web in earnest, I began to experience anxiety from the very thought of touching my computer. I would get on to check my email and a skype window, or im would pop up demanding an immediate response. I had time commitments for online interactive collaborations. I yearned to attend as many virtual conferences as possible and lamented my lack of time. The Twitterverse demanded my time to follow the bread crumbs left by many fascinating people. My email, comparatively static also required my time to respond perpetuating a self induced expectation to keep up with everyone and everything. The summer gave me the break in routine I needed to reevaluate my relationship with the web. I was embroiled in the web, suffocating from overexposure. Quantum entanglement? Hardly!
Much as I hated to extract myself from the tangles of the web, I made a concerted effort to to just that. I reprioritized my time. I have enjoyed the respite but now I wonder this: Is there a way to strike a healthy balance between the web and the real world? I miss the intellectual stimulation, the challenges and the camaraderie but I am afraid I will succumb to the stickiness and become trapped once again. I would be very interested to know if anyone out there has had a similar experience or perhaps they have mastered the art of balance. Please share. I’m afraid to jump in again but more afraid to stay out. It gives me adjida (as used in NJ).