The internet is an endless bag of distractions, with over 100 million of us at its mercy at any one time. Staying connected has become a way of life to an immeasurable amount of people, all of which rely on the internet as an integral part of their working life. But in a recent entry at the 37signals blog Matt tries to emphasise the importance of having time away from a computer (or more specifically, the internet).
See, there’s an inherent problem with always being online: you’re too connected. You wind up in the role of passive observer. Things come to you. You react instead of act… When you go offline, that equation changes. You have to be active. Since you can’t input, you output. If you don’t do something, nothing happens.
I like the definitive comparison drawn between input and output. Its all too easy to fall into the trap of reading articles, wathcing youtube clips, or doing all those things which give the illusion of organisation (like marking emails as ‘read’). Being offline occasionally ensures you aren’t stifling your creativity too much. Sometimes staring at a blank piece of paper with a biro in your hand is the perfect respite.