The Cure for Internet Addiction
Seriously, Jonathan Frantzen wrote The Corrections blindfolded?
So this article on writers coping with Internet distraction claims. Since most of my work requires copious reference to notes and text — and since I am a lousy touch-typist — the blindfold would not work. I understand what this guy did, however:
Born in 1985, [Ned] Beauman is a digital native – he has spent the entirety of his adult life surrounded by digital technology. Yet despite being immersed in the internet from an early age, Beauman is not immune to its power to distract, and he employs a level of computing trickery that makes Zadie Smith look like a Luddite.
“There are five layers of technological solutions I use,” he explains. “I edit my host file to block some websites, but that’s too coarse grain. I use K9, which is a parental control application, to block certain pages within websites, and I use an ad-blocker, not to block adverts, but to block the comment sections of many sites. And when I’m working I use Nanny for Google Chrome and SelfControl to block certain websites.”
The sites he blocks that cause so much distraction? “Virtually all newspaper and magazine websites as well as blogs and Twitter. And,” he says with amusing candour, “I also block things relating to my career that it’s probably best not to look at.”
Or maybe you just walk away from the computer and try something else. M. found this late 1940s portable typewriter for next to nothing and gave it to me for my birthday. It dates from when Smith-Corona was able to stop making M1903 rifles and other war matériel and go back to its core business — typewriters.
Of course, I had to ship it off to an old-school typewriter-repair shop in eastern Pennsylvania (Where did all the typewriter repairmen go? Rhetorical question.) and have it reconditioned at no small expense.
Then I sat down to write a letter to a friend in England and, guess what, I could not stop to read a blog or check the weather radar for a thunderstorm. It was liberating.
I keep thinking that I should go into the city, find a Starbucks, order a double cappuccino, pull out my Smith-Corona “Silent,” and get to work.
But — like its rival the Remington “Noiseless” — it is not.