Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe: Who's in charge anyway?

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Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

Who's in charge anyway?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

“Tweet Less,Kiss More” urges a recent Bob Herbert column in The New York Times. To date 237 readers have posted online comments. A letter to the editor asks, “who will be the first to say, ‘enough?’” As someone who’s a little more plugged in than she’d like to be, I think the question is, rather, “Who’s in charge here anyway, the gadget or me?”

Admittedly, the lure of the ringing phone is hard to resist. It’s almost a revolutionary act to let it ring, though, of course, we can screen. And, okay, it is a kick to go from “when did Alf Landon run against FDR” to “1936” in under a second. And who knows who may have sent an e-mail since we last looked ten minutes ago. Hmmm...500 Business Cards for $1.99... Oh. In his new book, “Hamlet’s Blackberry,” William Powers theorizes that we may be evolutionarily programmed to respond to the ping, the ring, the link. And there’s no doubt that it keeps us connected in one way, even as it disconnects us in another.

But I’m feeling it’s time for me to be the boss of me, or at least of my time. Maybe time management is the new portion control--another difficult concept in our much-much-more-is-better world So here and now I’m taking a public pledge to take control of my time. It’s the only worldly good I really have, right? So why should someone or something else be in charge? I’m promising myself to check e-mail less, be online less, be connected more to the unplugged world. Maybe you’d like to think about that, too--except for reading my blog posts, of course.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog posts become addictive.

July 20, 2010 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger Mim said...


You may be interested in my new way of life, which brings me back to the delicious quiet of my old life. I disconnect on Friday just before dinner and usually don't turn on my computer until Sunday night or Monday morning. The new regime has restored me!

Warm regards,

July 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Ellen Steinbaum said...

Miriam, I love that idea. And, Anon., my plan exactly! (BTW, Anon., love your work!)

July 20, 2010 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Herbert hit the nail on the head. Indeed, the amount of time we all spend "plugged in" (especially those of us who blog from time to time!) is out of control. As a rabbi I've been thinking for a few years about this topic, from a theological perspective -- what kind of "space" is cyberspace? Here's a sermon I wrote a few years ago (and I even referenced it a few weeks ago from the pulpit)

August 9, 2010 at 7:33 AM  

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