Virtually Addicted

Karen and I moved into a new apartment last weekend. We’re fortunate enough to have been able to “upgrade” into a larger living space, and, sore muscles and normal stressors associated with moving aside, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Of course, as tends to happen when dealing with utilities (I won’t mention which one, but my Twitter followers already know), there’s been a delay on, of all things, Internet connection.

We could be connected anytime between now and next week.

After my initial withdrawal pains and lifestyle adjustments (Panera Bread has seen a lot of me this week), Karen and I had a conversation about my information addiction. Besides the logistics problems of keeping up with bills, etc., I realized that a huge part of my panic was a lack of constant access to information, not being able to call up my RSS feeds, blogs, and tweets on a moment’s notice. Karen accuses me of being addicted to the news, and I think likely I am. I wonder at times how much of this is an addiction to information, and how much is legitimate.

I think there is much to be said for the ability to be connected with, and exchange thoughts and dialogue with, people around the globe, people with whom we wouldn’t normally have contact. I don’t think there’s anything voyeuristic about that, I think it is a great ability we have in the modern age. Technology gives us the ability to expand our “community” significantly.

To recognize the “teachable moment” in all this, though, I realize that I am, perhaps, addicted to news media. I realize that it doesn’t necessarily make me a better person to be a more informed person in all areas (especially politics). And, I realize that I’ve lived with limited access just fine.

It is interesting to panic at the thought of spending a week without Internet access at home. After all, we’re blessed enough to not have to worry about living without food or water, as many around the world are at this moment. In fact, the fact that we are able to upgrade our apartment in current economic conditions would be the envy of many. I try to keep that in perspective through the day as I feel aches to know what my friends are tweeting or blogging. Perhaps, a week of forced lifestyle changes is a good thing for me.

After all, once the withdrawals are finished, the addicted person is always better off in the end, right?


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