Increasingly we have web access wherever we go: wi-fi, dongles, mobile phones. For me, however, it’s nice to get away from the web, because when I do have access I have to be constantly on guard against falling into my personal circle of distraction: the never-ending loop of checking web services.
The specifics of the circle change over time as my interests change and different services go in and out of fashion. Previous/occasional entrants include Facebook, FeedJit, Google Analytics, Google Finance. The current circle looks something like this:
Whilst Twitter has obvious attractions for the easily distracted, as a webometrician I’m equally interested in bit.ly: how many people have followed the links I’ve placed since I looked 5 minutes earlier? Then there’s the email run: Hotmail, work email, University email. This tends to be followed by Google Wave, the latest new distraction on the block. Hardly anyone I know is really using it yet, but that means nothing in a circle of distraction. Then finally the Opera browser RSS reader. At which point there has been a sufficient gap to start the whole process again!
I dread to think how many times I find myself stuck in this, or a similar loop each day. Without the web I would get so much more work done, but what that work would be I don’t know.