Info. Overload

The last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about this information overload culture in which we live. I’ve been thinking about how much information I ingest on a daily basis and how this jives with the kind of Christian man, husband, dad, friend, and pastor I’m called to be. My thoughts aren’t fully formulated yet, but suffice it to say that I’m wanting to be more discerning about how I navigate our online, always connected world.

The last few weeks I’ve adopted a few new habits that are already serving me well:

-turning off my email audio ping

-checking email less often

-waiting until noon to check email (I’m inconsistent with this one, but I’m diggin’ it for the most part)

-reading fewer blogs

-reading blogs less often

-multitasking less often

-repenting of my addiction to want to know more “stuff,” even good Christian stuff, instead of being disciplined about applying the stuff I already know

-devoting more of my time to connecting with people in person and less of my time to connecting with people via email and online

-returning to one of my favorite things to do: talking to strangers as often as possible

I was glad to see that Joe Thorn is thinking some similar thoughts. Below is a brief excerpt from this great post of his.

“I am unplugging. I’m not talking about “living off the grid,”
throwing out the computer, shutting down my blog, or canceling our
internet service. I simply mean that I am unplugging from the web 2.0,
instant communication, virtual world more frequently. I think
technology is a good thing, and the internet is a tremendous resource,
but I have been living a life of tech-dependence for the past few years
that has limited my engagement and enjoyment of family, ministry and
life. In fact, it is fair to say that I have been very uncomfortable if
I cannot check my email/have my phone with me wherever I am, and that
is a form of bondage fro which I must escape.”

04. October 2007 by Justin Buzzard
Categories: Leadership | 7 comments

Comments (7)

  1. Justin,
    Good suggestions. Why is checking email so addicting? I also like the one about connecting with people more often.
    Stephen

  2. This is inspiring (and convicting) stuff, Justin… esp. for parents of young children.
    We are excited to hear you preach again this Sunday. May God bless you as you prepare your sermon!

  3. This is a timely post. I have been going through the same thought process recently. How much do I “depend” on the internet and information? You might call me an information glutton. In any case, moderation is a good guideline to follow in most matters. The real question for me is this:
    Do I long for communion with God like I “long” to check my blog or email?
    Honestly, there are some days that I find it quite uncomfortable to go without checking my email or surfing through the endless amount of articles and blogs. Do I feel this uncomfortable when it comes to reading the Word or spending time in prayer and meditation? Some days yes, other days no. Quite sad. Last night was my first day of “unplugging” a bit. And to my amazement I had a lot more time on my hands. I got some reading done, spent time in the Word, and had a great theological discussion with my wife. Unreal. Thanks for the challenging reflections Justin.

  4. Great post. I’ve been lurking around your blog for a while now, and maybe spending too much time reading it ;) but this post really hits close to home. If I spent as much time in the Word as I do on line, I would certainly be becoming the man God wants me to be. Thanks for the encouragment to “tune out” more.

  5. I’m in NYC and will definitely check out the MOBIA exhibit when it opens, for I am the Prodigal Son.

  6. Hi Justin,
    Glad I found your blog! Stephen posted an interesting question:”Why is checking email so addicting?” I think it’s because we crave contact with a human being. I was really surprised to realize how excited I get checking my email when I see someone actually wrote me a personal note instead of the usual forwards!
    For myself, I’m going to depend more on human interaction and less on the internet to fill this need.Thanks for the great post!
    Eunice

  7. Found your post from Between Two Worlds.
    Good thoughts, and it calls to mind a talk that Neil Postman gave titled “Informing Ourselves to Death”:
    http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/postman-informing.html

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