Lisa’s CCK08 Wordpress Blog

October 13, 2008

Save me from too much connectivity

Filed under: Week 5 — lisahistory @ 5:09 pm
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The 7 Habits of Highly Connected People. I thought it would be descriptive, but it came off as prescriptive.

First, there is my personal take. I don’t like to waste time either, but I see my inability to waste time as a personal failing, not a valuable attribute. My inability to relax, to just do nothing for awhile, is probably shortening my life. In the last decade,the web has succeeded in filling any gaps I may have had (though I don’t recall ever having any) — it just gives me another way to be busy.

The variety of possible connections on the internet is overwhelming — I sometimes wonder whether that alone is the foundation of connectivism theory. Studies note that time on the internet is cutting into people’s sleeping and eating, not just their reading and reflecting. The web is an endless source of things to do, things to learn, people to meet. All night long. All the next day. All weekend. Till your typing fingers rot off.

Second, there are issues of personal relationship. Connections with other people are important. When they are tenuous, consisting primarily of weak ties, they are not very satisfying over a long period of time. This happens a lot with networks over the internet, which we enter and exit as it serves us. It’s like going to a buffet every night. It’s wonderful at first to have such a variety, but if it’s every night you eat too much and get overweight, and eventually wish someone would bring you just one thing to eat.

That’s not to say that deep connections cannot be formed and nurtured on the internet — of course they can. But being always connected seems inefficient. You will certainly meet more people, but the amount of time and energy left for deeper connections is reduced.

Last, there is the social dimension: the opportunities missed to connect with people in person. It’s good to talk to others, participating in that boring f2f meeting to make it less boring and more productive, meeting someone new on the bus, finding commonalities among people who happen to occupy the same real-world place you’re in. And, as should be obvious from my previous posts, I have concerns about the implication that individualized networks are the best thing since sliced bread, when I see real potentional for them to lead us into lives full of echo chambers and a lack of connection to those who differ from us. Because whoever I meet on the internet, they may be individually diverse, but they are part of one big group: people who meet on the internet. Millions of people are not on the internet. Some never were, some are philosophically opposed to it, and some have been active members but are leaving to get their “real life” back after internet addiction. I’d never meet them if I stuck my head in my laptop when I went out in the world.

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7 Comments

  1. … Nice to read your ideas. I agree with you.
    I meet one time a chinese girl in internet and she speaks me about how big was her “adiction” to the web. So big that she didn´t want to test SecondLife because she was afraid that it could be worst that her actually “adiction”.
    I read in the lectures for this week (F. Heylighen, Complexity and Information Overload) a very interesting concept: Ephemeralization… The idea that the technological efficiency (more with less) is going to overload us in anysense: Too much and always more and more in an exponential acceleration process… But our capacity stays always more or less the same.
    God saves me from too much connectivity! (Because I am afraid that I can not save myself)

    Kind regards
    Carlos

    Comment by Carlos — October 13, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  2. [...] the amount of information and how a global (connected) brain could cope with it, Lisa’s great analysis sheds light on the new problems of a special process that has also become more lubricated: Finding [...]

    Pingback by x28’s new Blog » Blog Archive » CCK08 Internet over-emphasized — October 13, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

  3. Thanks Lisa for reminding everyone that we are human and not machines that perhaps can remain “always on” or always connected. Personally I don’t think a state of hyper-connectiveness is desirable. While connectivity has opened up new avenues of opportunities and discoveries, etc, time spent even in worthwhile connections online means less connections with real people or engaging in other real world activities.

    Comment by wlonline — October 14, 2008 @ 12:10 am

  4. Another lovely post Lisa. The 7 Habits article made my toes curl. Networks are very valuable for talking about internetworking, but I think we need tools and theories that enable a critical perspective to be taken.
    I used the mantra of many of the Internet-connected ‘Only Connect’ to examine how this phrase and quote were misapplied, when reading the original EM Forster book would have been quite helpful, see http://www.wwwords.co.uk/rss/abstract.asp?j=elea&aid=2709

    Comment by Frances Bell — October 14, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  5. Hi Lisa,
    I like your post. You have always got something extra to share and contribute, and that’s wonderful. I echoed fully with your view, in that sometimes too much connections could become an addiction. And we have to ask: is it a healthy habit?
    And we might have forgotten what we really need is to communicate with those people who are compassionate, with our hearts and minds with honesty, not just talking to another machine or a parrot.
    I have illustrated that in facebook. May be I hope you don’t mind me repeating it here:
    Computer: What is opposite of right?
    Student (key in): Left
    Computer: Wrong
    Student: (It can’t be wrong, let me try again.thinking)and then type.. Left
    Computer: Wrong
    Student: But I have checked with my teacher… that it’s left, silly computer… cried out loud and complained to her mum.
    Is it happening all over the place, with computer. I am trying not to be sacastic, but do think about how many times in appear in…. Because we are just human. And in front of us is the fantasy world called internet, with all the Web 2.0 tools.
    So, hope you can just have a laugh.
    How about this: How could connectivism be done in a more “enjoyable” way? Funny stories?
    Cheers.

    http://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com

    Comment by suifaijohnmak — October 14, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

  6. [...] 14, 2008 · No Comments Hi Lisa, http://lisahistory.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/save-me-from-too-much-connectivity/ I like your post. You have always got something extra to share and contribute, and that’s [...]

    Pingback by Connection with whom - The computer or the human? « Suifaijohnmak’s Weblog — October 14, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

  7. [...] – specifically connections overload. I’ve seen quite a few things surfacing (namely at Lisa Lane’s blog, the readings this week, a post from Fake Plastic Fish, a couple of blurbs on TV…) about [...]

    Pingback by Reflections on Networks and Groups - Week 5 | All The Young (Edu)Punks — October 14, 2008 @ 2:58 pm


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