Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The Luddite's Dilemma

In Christy's last blog entry she expressed her frustration with all the technological distractions that tempt us from doing the work we want to do. Boy, can I relate!

I try to avoid checking my email until I've finished my quota of writing for the day, but often I'm lured into going online by noon, "just for a break." Before I know it, an hour or two has passed and all I've done is weeded through the daily spam, viewed the latest photos of my great niece, and sent an email to my sister who I'll be seeing face to face in a couple of days.

So far I've resisted joining Facebook, though other authors have told me they've found it a good marketing tool. But do I really need another excuse to keep me from following my dream: creating children's books? What's the good of marketing if I'm not writing?

When is it wise to embrace technology and when is it wise to say no? I don't own a cell phone (do I really need to be connected to the rest of the world when I'm out for a walk around the lake?). Then again, when I see all the cool things the new I-phones can do, I wonder if I'm missing out on all the fun. I haven't turned on my television in months, but at times I feel like I'm clueless as to what the rest of the world is talking about (just who are all those people like Jen and Jon and Brad on the cover of People who keep getting married and divorced?). I wasn't even sure what a Wii was until a librarian explained it to me last month (it seems the senior citizens at her rural library love to go Wii bowling).

If you haven't read M.T. Anderson's Feed, by all means do. It's a gripping YA novel about a future where people choose to have computer transmitters implanted in their brains. The young people who have this operation become pawns for every mega-corporation's advertising department. The few who resist are ostracized by the rest of society. It's all too frighteningly believable.

Am I smart to keep my life simple, or am I simply a Luddite (I had to look up that word on my Internet dictionary because I couldn't find it in my paper one). Do I need more self discipline to stay focused (in the process of writing this blog entry, I ended up watching Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog...don't ask me how I got there), or do I need to be more adventuresome and welcoming to new technology?

How do I find the right balance. Frankly, I don't know.


Christy said...

Luddites UNITE!
Like you, I never turn on the TV--who the heck cares about Brad and Jen? I use a cell only as a portable pay phone, but also don't like the notion of always being accessible. It's hard to stand apart from all of this. I'm reminded of the Shaker song, 'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free... There seems to be an equation between simplicity and freedom.

Stephanie said...

I had to go look up Luddite. I think you're a saint to avoid Facebook and tv. They are total distractions, even if I do find Wordtwist and Scrabble to be very fun while increasing my vocabulary and connecting me with far away friends and relatives.Sigh.

betsy woods said...

I will be smiling all day : I recognize myself too much in your blog. After Katrina I learned how much I can live without, in that there is freedom.