Information Sickness

February 4th, 2009

Twice this week, I’ve been at dinner parties where the main course was conversation. On Superbowl Sunday, no football was watched. Instead, we ate shrimp creole, climbed up to our hostess’s roof to look at the stars in the cold night sky, and listened to a chef tell funny stories about his colleagues until the hour was late and all the wine bottles were empty. Two nights later, I shared soup and sensibility with three smart, independent women, and again the talk and ideas were what whet our appetites. They were occasions that reminded me of how much more satisfying face to face, heart to heart contacts are than electronic ones. And how I need to spend deep quality time with myself as well as others. I’m so often guilty of coming home after work and turning on both the television and the computer until it’s time to go to bed. In the morning, I get up and turn on the television again to get the Sponge Bob Square Pants version of world events via the Today Show. When my children were small, I relished opportunities for silence and solitude, but that was before the computer took over my life. Over the past decade, I’ve gradually become addicted to chatter, both literal and digital, and I’ve started to realize how hard it is for me to turn it off. I’m going to try and make one night a week free of electronics–a small step toward renewing my acquaintance with my old self–the one who writes with a pen, sticks with a story instead of changing channels and listens to wind chimes instead of the Weather Channel. 

4 Responses to “Information Sickness”

  1. Candace says:

    What a great post. Some years back, I began giving everything up one day a week of all the literal and digital and TV chatter, including the newspaper. I have never regretted it, altho at the time, I thought I’d explode. Good for you and enjoy whatever it is you need to do to Stop The Noise.

  2. V-Grrrl says:

    I lived without a TV for more than 20 years. I own one now but it’s not hooked up to receive signals, just play DVDs.

    The computer? I need to shut it off at night, the time I’m most likely to be wasting time by staring mindlessly at the screen looking for…something. Waiting for…someone.

    And conversation…it is one of the things I most miss about living in Europe. The art of conversation is alive and well there. It is easier to talk to Americans but hard to get below the surface.

  3. notmassproduced says:

    good for you – just don’t give us up completely

  4. Di says:

    Good luck, and thank you for reminding me of delicious dinner party conversations and rooftops.

    And your music, I LOVE your music 🙂