Monday, 15 October 2007

The 30 minute rule

Last week I imposed a 30 minute time limit on my Facebook activities. The reason for this was the excessive time I was spending staring at the computer screen, playing scrabulous, clicking through people's profiles etc. It got to the point where I repeatedly clicked back and forth from my home page to my profile to see if anything had changed in the last 5 minutes.

Recognising the extreme sadness of this, I imposed the 30 minute rule. It worked a treat. I could get two moves into my current scrabble game (providing my opponent was also online) and it was long enough to gain a snapshot of what all my friends had been doing in the past 24 hours. And -- more to the point -- I got other stuff done! This included some much-needed progress on the rewrite plan.

Over the weekend I dropped the rule and stayed logged in all weekend. I sat at my computer almost the whole time (mainly working on novel and then a story for work) with Facebook keeping me company. It was nice actually, to have somewhere to turn when I needed a break.

This evening, it's a different matter. Having spent 12 hours yesterday doing work, I gave myself a free evening. On a standard evening at home this gives me three options: 1) TV, 2) read, 3) computer activities. Option #3 is my default.

So, evening on the computer. No 30 minute rule. As a result, I have spent most of that time focused on Facebook again. I have a couple of scrabble games to check up on every so often. I also went on a recruiting drive and found some more friends. How is it possible that these activities could take over 3.5 hours? This must be how impulsive gamblers react when they discover the length of time they've been staring at a slot machine.

The 30 minute rule is being invoked again for the balance of evenings this week. I simply have too many other things I need to achieve with my time. Why is it that we can spend all evening playing scrabble online, yet we have never once had a scrabble night? Is Facebook truly the future of social interactivity? I simply don't get it.

1 comment:

  1. Scrabble night! Now there's a good idea. When? Your place or mine? Who else is intersted? Ready whenever you are!

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