Our ways of thinking, perceiving, and acting, we now know, are not entirely determined by our genes. Nor are they entirely determined by our childhood experiences. We change them through the way we live – and, as Nietzsche sensed, through the tools we use.
The Shallows, Nicholas Carr
When I first started writing stories I used paper and pen. That was the most natural way for me to work.
Years later I moved onto a computer and then that became the natural way to work.
Now I have returned to using paper and pen and I can see that using a computer for so long has changed me.
When I’m using a pen I write longer sentences more slowly. I feel more connected to what appears on the page because I have put it there.
Writing on paper was not a specific goal I had when I began to change the way I used computers. My main ambition was directed at the way I consumed, rather than created. But it is a welcome side-effect. I enjoy the process of creation a lot more now.
It has also made me question my goals regarding consumption. If it is the medium, rather than the content, that is the problem, then is there a different way I can consume?
This morning I set up an RSS reader so I can see if that works for me. It might not, or it might need more tweaking. Maybe I will need to print the things that I decide to read.
It’s possible that I don’t have to quit the whole internet and instead I can find a way to use it that works for me.