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The Internet In General and Blogging In Particular.

Dan Flynn has written a review of The Shallows:What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. I haven't read the book yet, but Flynn makes a lot of interesting points in his review. There are also some interesting counter-arguments in the discussions section.

According to Flynn, Carr's main thesis   is that while the wide variety of information available on the internet stimulates the brain, it also "anesthetizes the mind".  Flynn seems to agree with this thesis. And so do I, to a point. Flynn is certainly right when he says "a literary culture is giving way to a passive digital culture -- and a literary subculture that may appear to posterity the way monocles, duels, and arranged marriages appear to us".   And he's also correct to point out that "Reading is the most obvious casualty of the digital age".

The problem is worse than people preferring the internet to books. Even on the internet, people are less willing to absorb any significant amount of content at one time. Which of course means people are less willing to go to the trouble of putting any significant amount of content on the net. I am as guilty of this as anybody.

 I know I spend a lot less time here since I've been on facebook
, and I know why. Posting a link or writing a status line on facebook takes a much smaller chunk of time than making an entry here, even a brief one. And since each chunk of time is smaller,  I end up using a lot of them and they add up.

I'm not alone. Of my 30 livejournal friends, the only ones I have seen posting in the last 3 months are writerspleasure , miss_breeziness , hellblazer99 , and iatethecookie . Everyone else is busy with facebook. (Apologies in advance to any friends that are lurking but not posting. EDIT: apologies also to armrha , whose latest post showed up on my friends page almost immediately after I posted this. We were probably typing our entries at the same time.)

The same technology that made blogging  possible has now so atrophied our attention spans that it has also  made blogging as quaint and old-fashioned as oral storytelling. The irony is rich enough to raise  your cholesterol.