Friday, September 19, 2008

An author's view of the Internet as a distraction

Coincidentally hitting the same topic I brought up earlier this week, The New York Times Paper Cuts book blog interviews writer Charles D'Ambrosio, asking him about the evil, evil Internets as part of their "Stray Questions" series. His answer's pretty interesting:

How much time — if any — do you spend on the Web? Is it a distraction or a blessing?

I’m coming to the conclusion that any time is too much time. My life hasn’t improved at all with the advent of the Internet; if anything, I’ve turned into a worse misfit. And change isn’t ipso facto good. I’m away from Portland for the year, but prior to leaving I’d been preparing to build a writing shed out in my backyard, with no electricity. Just a kerosene lantern and a tiny wood stove of the sort you see in ice-fishing huts with a crooked hobo stove-pipe coming out the roof. The world is too much with us. Wordsworth published that 200 years ago. Now I need a hideaway in back of my house just to feel at home. The Internet makes me feel desperate. The spiritual toll isn’t worth the few conveniences. It’s a sordid boon, like that Xmas when you didn’t get what you really wanted, and now that special experience of disappointment is upon us around the clock.

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