June 14, 2012

Too Much! Too Much! Not Enough!

I am always telling people that the stream of social media is like drinking from a firehose, which is why I try to keep my Facebook feed to a minimum, don't tweet, don't read tweets, and don't do much else. I'm a jumpy person by nature as it is.

As Diane Ackerman wrote in the New York TImes recently, "The new technology, for all its boons, also bedevils us with alluring distractors, cyberbullies, thought-nabbers, calm-frayers, and a spiky wad of miscellaneous news. Some days it feels like we’re drowning in a twittering bog of information."

On the other hand, she continues, "One solution is to spend a few minutes every day just paying close attention to some facet of nature. A bonus is that the process will be refreshing.

"When a sense of presence steals up the bones, one enters a mental state where needling worries soften, careers slow their cantering, and the imaginary line between us and the rest of nature dissolves. Then for whole moments one may see nothing but the flaky trunk of a paper-birch tree with its papyrus-like bark.

"Or, indoors, watch how a vase full of tulips, whose genes have traveled eons and silk roads, arch their spumoni-colored ruffles and nod gently by an open window."

Yes, like that. Get your attention span back.

I have,  however, been letting the scout cameras develop their attention spans, and some interesting things have turned up, which I will blog soon. In little chunks.

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