I'm taking a class just for fun this semester, because its title nerd-sniped me in an instant: The Future of the Book. So far, we've read a motley of opinion pieces and delved into technophilosophy, which is a word I just made up. I've discovered that I am a bit of a luddite, or rather, I've discovered how much of a luddite I really am. I'll give up my bound paper books when my ashes are mingled with N's under an oak tree.
Of more general interest than ashes, I read two articles that resonated with me, and I thought I'd share them. The first, The Future of the Book, shares several topics with those mentioned in my class. There's a lot to discuss about the future of books, libraries, the privilege inherent in the shift to digital media, expectations of society as that shift happens, how much things will change and how fast, what one's ideal future look like, and how to contribute to or shape that future. But since I'm thoroughly opinionated in class, I think I won't bother to rehash everything here, at least not right now.
The second, Is Google Making Us Stupid? talks about the digital age more generally. Carr writes, "what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation," and I feel it as well. Ironically enough, I couldn't even finish the article on the first go-round. I have a hard time reading novels just sitting down at home--it's much easier when I'm on a bus or walking somewhere. My prayers are generally shorter and less meditative. Certainly not everything can be blamed on the Internet, but no matter: there's nothing wrong with culling the excess time spent online. At the very least it makes more time for those other things.
I've committed to spending less time online in lots of different ways over the past few years. My first year out of college, I had no internet at home, which was amazing. I've put restrictive apps on my browsers, made mutual promises with N, intentionally left my laptop off or at home for extended periods of time, but the Internet still calls. It's like sugar for the brain.
So with that, I'll turn off my computer for the night.