Sunday, March 18, 2007


Disconnected by Idlewild
But I'm connected to the places I don't feel connected from,
I'm connected to the place that I don't feel like I'm from.
This is the kind of town where everyone knows each other,
and everyone hates that they know each other,
and no one's getting any younger.
It really is amazing to me. With my wife out of town (she's now back, but leaving again very soon), I was a single parent. This meant I had very little free time.
However, as I sat with my son, or worked on grading finals, I realized something: I'm disconnected from this new world of technology, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
Oh, I have this blog, I know how to search the web and such, and I actually own some technology (I traded in my cup and string for a phone...crazy...I know), but I can't really go beyond that.
What do I mean?
Many people are now a part of Twitter. The only question to Twitter is, "What are you doing?" You're supposed to answer at random times of the day using your phone, IM, or the Web.
Here's a little known fact about Twitter: There's a bar by Northwestern University that projects the Twitter broadcast of NU students on the wall. That's right, people sit in the bar and write to each other in order to see their posts put up.
"Dude...that's me! All right." (And Geeky hi-fives all around.)
I understand why so many people love Twitter, but let's be honest: It's essentially Instant Messaging that also works on phones...but can do that already.
More connection? How about myspace and facebook? Many of my students and some of my colleagues and acquaintances have pages on these sites that they constantly update (almost by the hour as one student told me).
The authors of a few of the blogs I read (and link to on the right) have Twitter, myspace, or facebook pages. That's for them, and I salute them for it, but I cannot do it.
It feels like a leash. No matter where you go, unless there is no web or cell service (like where I went for my honeymoon), you'll feel the addiction pulling you. Stop posting, and people will start to worry.
I love this blog, but I don't necessarily feel I have to post all the time. Do I feel bad if I go so long that Tom has to yell at me? Sure, but I don't feel as though I HAVE to post everyday. I want what I say to be polished, not rushed.
The other reason I don't use those sites is that, as I have said before, I believe in face to face conversation. Sure, we cannot all be in the same state, but when you are, wouldn't it be easier to meet instead of just text?
Maybe it's just me.
However, my disconnection goes beyond just the web. As a single parent (that is when my wife is not here...which is happening alot more now thanks to her work), I find that I want to spend time with my son and ignore everything else.
You have to understand: when I was nineteen, I was sure that I would end up traveling the world as stage manager or technical director and not have time for a relationship. I was also sure that staying with just one person forever was going to be the death of me (this was after my Ex and I went through all of our crazy stuff). Now I'm a parent and watching my son discover the world is better than anything. I'm sure that if my nineteen year old self appeared and saw me now, he'd kick my ass (and he could...I was a lot more muscular back then). I just keep thinking about my son. For example, today he learned that if he wants the cat to continue to sleeping next to him, he can't bite the cat's tail. We, as adults, take that for granted, but imagine what's happening in his brain.
The disconnection also comes from my former life.
Go to a movie? Maybe this Summer.
Write in the ole blog? If I'm not too tired after putting my son to sleep and all my grading is done.
I will say that I find it fascinating that most of the bloggers around here know each other, and many of my readers...well...they've never met me. They would have no clue if I walked into them. It's not a bad thing, but it is fascinating to me.
This may not make sense to some of you. I know a few people who cannot go a day without talking to a friend or calling someone.
That's just not me.
I don't mind being alone. In some ways, solitude helps to clear the mind and allows reflection.
Too much can be bad, that's true, but I don't see it yet.
Disconnected isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it's just me.


Arthur Willoughby said...



Welcome back.

I have both a MySpace and Facebook page. I prefer Facebook; MySpace feels creepy. It's too easy to troll for underage girls there.

Neither are terribly fun, though. More trouble than they're worth. I quite literally have people tell me, too my face: Check your MySpace, I posted on your wall.

To which I reply: I'm right here. Just tell me.

Write more.

cat said...

Hi Leab!
Good to hear from you again! I have to agree it is nice to be a little out of touch. And some people just cannot not be. It is sad to see all the kids to have to be in touch 24/7/365. Technology, so nice...

Jason said...

I draw the line at Twitter. I don't text message. But I feel like I'm losing the text battle. Others text me. I can't ignore them.

People don't need to know what I'm doing at every moment. Remember when we were in college, and we had to make a plan to meet at a bar or a house, and we just met there. No calls, no nothing. I'm not saying that was better... but I'm not saying that this is better either.

Oh, and I do want to meet you.

That guy eating "marmite on toast," that fateful day... You know who this is. Or you don't. Anyway. said...

Hmmm... Never really read this before, but a certain sibling of mine had it bookmarked, and with a title like "Ironic Teachings" I figured it must be interesting to some degree. It is. I agree about the stuff that you said about the things and the people, yeah. But, seriously, Myspace and Facebook are a disease, and I am currently infected. They are (almost) the ultimate procrastination-machines, as whenever it was late and I was working on my favourite subject (I'll give you a hint: It starts with E- and ends with -nglish), I would write pages of random ramblings instead of focusing on what I really needed to do. As a result, I would often stay up far later than I needed to, and be much more tired the next day. The next evening, I would then try to get the remainder of my work done, only to feel so tired from the previous night that I would again avoid my work and instead ramble about whatever happened to take my fancy at the particular moment. It was a vicious cycle. Is. But, yeah. I think I'm continuing with that cycle as I write this, as I know I have some math homework I should be finishing. Oh well. That's just my nature. I also like being alone sometimes. On the occasions when I am deprived of my social-networking fix for a period of time, I rediscover all sorts of other things that I used to enjoy doing so much-like reading. Except school (and myspace) have killed off that most-valuable part of my life, and I want it back. I read all the time, and then I stopped. I don't like that. Okay. I swear that I'm done rambling now. One of the main reasons that I decided to write a comment on this particular article is that I have experienced (as you well know) the repurcussions which may follow as a result of unsanctioned facebook activity. It sucks. a lot. And you feel bad. But one of the main points which was driven home to me was just how all of this seemingly trivial online stuff can really affect whole futures of people. In addition, Facebook's privacy policy SUCKS. Watch this video:

Thanks for letting me ramble (not that you had any choice in the matter), and all that stuff. It would have been... interesting to have had you as a teacher (maybe I would've learned how to write in paragraphs--not that that's a fault of any other teacher I've had). Okay, I'm done being creepy in 5
[Word Count: 437]