In some of the reading I’ve done on nytimes.com lately about the internet and the gadgetry out there that is rapidly changing the way we interact with each other, the addiction to constant tweet/facebook/email/text message interfacing reduces our ability to concentrate on a particular task at hand. The readings indicate that the resultant attention deficit disorder decreases our problem-solving ability because of the “multi-tasking” culture in which we live; we do not become immersed in a problem, but we rather skim along the surface of it, often with an endless series of two steps forward, one step back, trying to find where we left off with Task A before we left it to go to Tasks B and C. The question arises, then: what do we make of the paradox between A.D.D. and multi-tasking?
Is it true what the experts say? Are we so bored with our lives that we take to our gadgets and internet surfboards at the first twitch of tedium? I can only speak for myself. In fact, this may sound like an AA meeting, but I have a touch of the internet bug, my addiction became so bad over the last four years that the first and last thing I’d do in any given day would be to check my email and facebook. Shameful, really. The last time I woke up and read a book instead of my sparsely populated email inbox was longer ago than I care to admit.
Admittedly, being so far away from home and those youngsters in my family has made a webcam indispensible. Though I do not use it all the time, the occasional face to face chat with Ian about school and soccer, with Audrey about dance class and her birthday party, with Lexi about the gifts she got from Nic and I the other day and the card she sent us with a care package, to see how much little Ella resembles her father—all of this has helped solidify my status as best uncle ever. Not only that, but I get the opportunity to see how those young’uns are shaping up.
To this point (11AM), I have yet to do anything online but post here. In about an hour, I will finally get to my email to discover the first seventeen of the final 35 papers I will have to correct at Silla University. But that’s aside from the point. Am I really that bored with my life? I’ve got some pretty amazing things going on for the next half year, the most immediate of which is marrying that woman I’m so crazy about. We’re going on a weekday adventure to the US Embassy-Seoul to enjoy the generosity of people. However remote a monetary gift may seem in our situation, it is greatly appreciated: my parents, and both Nic’s and my unis have basically footed the bill for first class travel and accommodation, excellent food and shots of Patron.
So if it’s not boredom, what is it? Laziness? When it comes to attempting to write something new or read, say, The Brothers Karamozov, I think laziness is a watered-down and even misappropriated euphemism for fear.