Archive for November 10th, 2008

November 10, 2008

isolation experiment – the aftermath

So it’s been a few weeks since my isolation experiment, and I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the experiment, to observe myself after it etc.

When I came back to Belgrade, I quickly slipped into my usual routine of time-wasting in front of the screen. It’s amazing, sitting there, looking at the screen, telling yourself “Look, you’re clearly not doing anything productive right now.” and then simply clicking on the next link. And the next one. And the next one.

Fortunately, this only lasted for a week or so, as this time, I was armed with the experience from Split. Remembering that I read a book every day even though my concentration was bad (because of the flu), the strong motivation and the good feeling that came from such clearly defined goals and a lack of distractions… all of those things motivated me to set some clear goals which I really want to accomplish, and I know that in pursuing and reaching them the idling in front of the screen will simply cease to feel necessary, or even good.

I’ve also become even more antagonistic towards Facebook, MSN and internet in general. I fully agree that they are incredibly useful when used properly. However, they have a way of becoming a part of the daily routine which then influences people’s behavior negatively: spending an hour or so every day on Facebook,  chatting and doing quizzes, may seem like nothing much, simply because the negative effects are not that apparent. However, there are negative effects.

People in general have a problem with sticking to moderation in their behavior (“Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation” St. Augustine), and with the internet it’s easier than ever to go down the “just one more” path, whether it’s a link, a Facebook quiz or whatever. But I think that this sort of behavior is more easily remedied by doing something productive, instead of constantly forcing yourself not to do it – the reason you’re waisting time in front of the screen is because you are, say, bored and you have a need; a need which is currently fulfiled by Facebook. Do something more productive, fulfilling etc. and that need will be satisfied, and you simply won’t feel like spending so much time online. Also, the benefits from whatever you’re doing are way better than that hour in front of the screen.

that’s it for the isolation experiment. Of course, if you have any questions concerning any aspect of the experiment, or my thoughts on Facebook, internet etc. feel free to ask.