I must admit, when given the task to create a blog for LINUS, I was filled with trepidation and a gnawing sense of anxiety. I don’t blog except for a brief time in university when it was “compulsory” for a certain module, I read blogs occasionally but they’re largely an indifferent part of my life in the whole scheme of things. First things first, I’m not a tech-savvy person. I’m the sort who hides behind and demur politely whenever someone throws out all these high-sounding technical terms although deep inside, I get extremely panicky. I mean hey, you don’t want to look as if you’re less intelligent than the next person or worse be seen as an ignoramus right? Anyway, I got down to it by reading books, checking other libraries’ and slowly, checking with people who blog regularly and slowly and painfully, set up a reasonably nice-looking prototype. Thankfully, the bosses liked it. Enormously relieved, I happily went on populating the blog with content.
So imagine my shock and dismay when I logged in to the blog early this week to find the interface totally changed. I’ve been so used to the familiar blue and white layout that I panicked when I saw something unfamiliar. But that’s just the crux of the issue. Things change, especially in technology where advances are so rapid they can be measured by the speed of light. The other day, I attended a talk on NUS Second Life by a student from RidgeCat Guru, part of the team involved in NUS participation in Second Life. The student was waxing lyrical about how there are so many wonderful activities you can do in Second Life, like creating your own avatar, flying, swimming, windsurfing etc. And all this while I was thinking, why can’t you do all these in “real” life (ok, maybe except for flying)? And isn’t it more fun to do all these activities in real life rather than in the virtual world? There was a recent news report about 2 bloggers who died recently of a heart attack due to the stress of keeping up with postings on the blog. Gosh, “death by blogging” – how insane can the world be? And people who spent hours online, well, they don’t really have a life do they? In fact, their social lives must be pretty dismal, pathetic and sad.
Welcome to the digital-era equivalent of the sweatshop where our work and social lives are spent increasingly in front of the computer. Where does it all end? It ends when you make the choice to let go. Go on, pull out the plug. You may not be ahead of the competition but guess what, the world won’t collapse and you’ll still be alive.