Monday, May 09, 2005

Now and then, we probably should log off

Now, bear with me a moment. Given that I am blogging and that as a librarian I spend a lot of time online (not to mention the time outside of work), this may sound a bit radical. But in seriousness, it is not a bad idea. Just decide to take some time off and actually turn off your computer, do not log into the internet. The Chronicle of Higher Education, in its April 22nd, 2005 issue, features an article by Jeffrey R. Young entitled "Knowing When to Log Off." The argument is that wired campuses actually cause information overload. Information overload is certainly not new, but the idea is to disconnect for a while in order to make some time for reflection and contemplation. In other words, take some time to recharge the batteries before getting back on a computer. It seems like a very good idea. When I read the article, I recalled when I interviewed the Head of Information Services at one of the libraries I used to work at. I did it for a management class in library school. One of the things she mentioned was that she spent a large part of her morning checking e-mails and responding to e-mails. Now, e-mail communication is a big part of her work; I know it is a big part of mine, but I wonder if she at times wished she could just turn it off for a while, just decide not to check e-mail for a day, like the article suggests. Chaos would likely ensue in her case, but then again, would it really be so bad when it has the potential to help her, or me for that matter, regain some serenity? Thge article mentions that e-mail is one of the culprits for stress as people tend to look at them as soon as they pop up on Outlook or such. At any rate, a little food for thought.

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