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.