I can really identify with Jeremy Zawodny’s dilemma:
What ever happened to being able to chew on a problem, anyway? You know, concentrate, think, wonder, and sketch a bit…
I find myself unsubscribing from more and more mailing lists and RSS feeds. I’m being more and more brutal in how I deal with email (just moved everything older than 2 weeks into my “archive” folder–sorry if you expected a response). I’m avoiding instant messenger as much as possible. I’m wearing headphones at work more, mainly to make up for the lack of any quiet space. My voicemail message simply spells out my email address, hoping that I’ll have one less inbox to check for new stuff demanding my attention (not that it seems to deter people from talking at it).
I have more feeds than I can read and I keep them either because there is something there I use once in a while or I wind up adding more feeds even after I do clean them out. I suppose you do have to be ruthless about which feeds you keep and which feeds you toss. The question is how you achieve that? How do you decide what to toss out?
Between my many email accounts, blogs, phones and fax I find myself wishing for some kind of universal inbox that receives everything and somehow simplifies the whole communication process without compromising my ability to be more connected that every before.
We have so many ways of connecting to each other and being part of all these little networks and groups, you would think it all makes us more productive or effective. My experience is sometimes that all that potential is incapacitating.
Our high tech world kind of sucks from a productivity standpoint. Instead of creating an office space or environment in which it’s easy to focus, we’ve been dropped into an obstacle course that throws lots of little tantalizing distractions at us along the way, each one is quite small. Combined they’re formidable.
Remember the days before the Web and mobile phones? The world was a lot quieter then. Not that I’d give all this up, mind you. I’ll just wait for the technology utopia that makes all the noise go away and renders all my feeds useful and meaningful.