Searching vs Waiting
James Sturm is in the middle of his four-month break from the internet. The Dish missed this dispatch from a couple weeks back:
Whether it's a sports score, a book I want to get my hands on, or tuning into Fresh Air anytime of day, I can no longer search online and find immediate satisfaction. I wait for the morning paper, a trip to the library, or, when I can't be at my radio at 3 p.m., just do without. I thought this would drive me crazy, but it hasn't. Anticipation itself is enjoyable and perhaps even mitigates disappointing results....Are meaningful connections easier to recognize when the fog of the Internet is lifted? Does it have to do with the difference between searching and waiting? Searching (which is what you do a lot of online) seems like an act of individual will. When things come to you while you're waiting it feels more like fate. Instant gratification feels unearned. That random song, perfectly attuned to your mood, seems more profound when heard on a car radio than if you had called up the same tune via YouTube.
Nick Carr thinks this supports his fears:
Sturm is onto something deep here. The Net - and it's not just search - does seem to encourage the willful arrangement of experience, moment by moment. As he has rediscovered, sometimes it's best to let the world have its way with you.