June 2011

In September 2010, The Chartered Institute for IT released an intriguing report about Internet use and happiness. Interestingly, the results suggested that some people benefit more than others when they tap into the cloud, including those with lower incomes, people living in the developing world, and women. The researchers said the Internet has “an indirect, enabling and empowering role leading to a greater sense of freedom and control which in turn leads to greater life satisfaction.” In other words, Internet access will make you happier.

On the other hand, I know far too many people who walk around like zombies with their eyes glued to their smart phones. Business Week aptly noted, that “scrolling through e-mail and punching out text messages fire up the dopamine-reward system, unleashing a pleasure-inducing hit that for an estimated 6% of Internet users has become clinically addictive.”

So if we’re always on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, are we really experiencing true connection? Maybe it’s time to unplug and engage in real life?

Why I’m Unplugging . . .

During the month of July, I’ll be taking a digital sabbatical and spending the whole month away from blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and other online activities to focus on my book.

Many of you know that I spent a big chunk of the year working on a book proposal for the print world. My literary agent spent the last few months pitching the concept to publishers and I recently signed on with New World Library. I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity!

Now comes the hard part. It’s one thing to write 1000-2000 word blog posts, letters or a 30,000 word guide. It’s another thing to write a 70,000 word book. I’ve been spending a lot of time on the book and so far I’ve written about 37,000 words. But most of those words aren’t good. I’m still working on a very shitty first draft.

And that’s why I’ve cleared my calendar for the month of July to focus on this project. In essence, my digital sabbatical is my “very, very, very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions.” [click to continue…]

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