Could you make it through an entire 5-day vacation without the Internet, blogs, e-mail and your other daily informational inputs? Well, I almost did it. Why would I do that? Two reasons. First, a few months ago I read a random blog post in which someone deep within the comments to the entry said he couldn’t live even 1 day without their daily info-fix. And so I wondered if I could for a few days. Second, my wife and kids have been begging me to stay off the computer when we go on vacations! So, I decided to give it a shot and not only stay off the Net, blogs and e-mail for 5 days, but also steer clear of even traditional information sources, namely newspapers and magazines.
Oh man, it hurt. I felt like a junkie going into detox. Withdrawal symptoms were immediate. I awoke with the nagging need to check my RSS feeds on Bloglines, check out the TLF, and flip through my e-mails. Even worse was the absence of my beloved Wall Street Journal. It was everything I could do not to pick one up each morning at a local Waffle House or Denny’s while I was on the road. But I denied myself these pleasures and stuck to the plan, with the exception of a few moments when I cheated and checked a few work e-mails on my cell phone.
Anyway, when I returned, it was like trying to figure out how to deal with an information overload apocalypse. Over on my Bloglines account, just under 400 new blog posts were waiting for me from the 75+ blogs I monitor daily. On my work e-mail, I had well over 500 messages, not including spam. My Yahoo e-mail account had another 100+. My GMail account had dozens more. There we also plenty of voice mails at work and home. And when I got back to my house, I had a stack of Wall Street Journals, Washington Posts and the Sunday New York Times waiting for me. And several magazines in the mail.
Where to even begin? How does one catch up? Well, I’m not sure I’m gunna. I’m thinking about just ignoring all of it and hitting the reset button. I’ve already thrown away all the newspapers. And I have been bulk deleting most of my e-mails on all 3 accounts. And I’m still not sure when and if I’ll be able to catch up with those RSS feeds, but I would really feel like I was missing something if I just ignored them all.
Sometimes life in an Age of Abundance is a bitch!