Miranda: Surf and turf
I imagine that most of us would admit to spending more time on the internet than we “should,” at least on occasion. Some months ago I turned off the automatic “check e-mail” schedule in Outlook, but really all that means is that I obsessively hit “send/receive” during any moment of down time or transition. And then there are all the websites and blogs I visit regularly. Some of them are related to creativity, but many aren’t. I have to keep an eye on the political news, and I’m on Facebook at least once a day. For reasons that I haven’t fully understood, I also visit celebrity/gossip websites, embarrassing as that is to admit.
Of course, surfing can be useful and inspiring. The internet helps us stay connected to the virtual creative network that is truly important to many creative women. Staying connected is a great way to remember that you ARE a creative person. Rubbing elbows, even virtual ones, with other creative types is often inspiring and motivating. (Hence our group affection for this blog.)
Sometimes I do get sick of my laptop, and set it aside for a day, but when I’m supposed to be working (as in, paying for childcare), I’m at my weakest. I know that most of the time I spend on the internet (and to some extent, e-mail) is pretty much a waste of time. I could definitely condense my daily surf round, and still keep up with everything I’m interested in. But I go back to certain sites repeatedly, throughout the day–clearly procrastinating. Especially these days, when I really do NOT feel like working. And it’s so inefficient to constantly interrupt myself to check e-mail or read another blog. Why not just get the work done, and THEN enjoy the R&R?
Lately I’ve been thinking of purchasing a wireless-free AlphaSmart Dana, because I like the idea of a machine that’s really an electronic typewriter. I simply don’t have the will power to turn off my internet connection while I’m working–be it “work work” or the creative stuff. But then I tell myself I shouldn’t be spending money when I could simply just hit the network button on the machine I already own.
How to balance the good of the internet with the bad of wasting time that could otherwise be spent on creativity? And while I’m procrastinating (ahem), what websites and blogs do you visit on a daily basis? (Feed the beast!)