Archive for March, 2008

with high internet connectivity, user productivity approaches zero

Since I am now anchored to one location and probably will stay that way for the next year or two, I think I’ll be turning my thoughts to digital global culture more often. The Internet has shaped a lot of who I am– I got my first AOL account at age six!– and only when I had to live without it did I realize how much of an impact it has on my life.

Living with the Internet makes everything much more convenient, but it also makes my life infinitely more complicated. In the span of fifteen minutes online, my curiosity and insatiable thirst for information led me from vegetarian recipe searching to a Wikipedia entry about a character from His Dark Materials. (Whoever can name all the connections I took to get there wins a prize.) Think about how much havoc I wreak on my work and sleep schedule when my house on campus has high-speed WiFi! I can hole myself up in my room for weeks and just pull a hikikomori on everyone.

This means I can’t work in my room, and I can’t work in the public spaces of my house because the social interaction is just as distracting. I also live at the top of a hill, so I’m discouraged from venturing out to study, but good *god* it’s almost finals week, I have to. (At least the weather’s a whole lot better than it was a month ago…)

I’ve found that I work best outside of my dorm, sans laptop, in a public place that isn’t too quiet— on campus, The Axe and Palm in Old Union does the trick. I usually can’t work with people talking in the background, but somehow I don’t mind random people talking. Maybe it’s because it’s an improvement from the background noise I get at home, which involves my family talking instead of random people. Or maybe it’s because I’m afraid of making embarrassingly loud noises (i.e. passing gas) in a pindrop-silent study hall. Either way, I don’t have to deal with the knowledge that I have a wealth of information at my fingertips. Seriously, the convenience of a WiFi-enabled laptop destroys me.

But hey, it could be worse– I could have an iPhone.


What?

This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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