An idea has grown out of the soil of frustration: I am going to try to go without the internet for a month (I'll still do email, see my rules below). Why? Two main reasons:
First, I think (don't know, though) that the internet is changing the way I think. See here and here. Simply put, for my life's calling, I can't afford the short attention span this interweb has developed in me. I can't afford to think in blog posts and headlines; I need to get back to essays and books and talking to people.
Second, the internet is changing the way I work and not usually for the better. I realize the incredible resource this is, especially for research, but I need some time away to learn better to separate the wheat from the chaff, to figure out what I really need and what is wasting my time.
Caveat: my little experiment is really designed for me and shouldn't be taken as a condemnation of the internet or as an example to follow. This experiment is designed to combat my own weakness in self-discipline. When my wife and I first got married, we lived in a place that had cable. I learned then that I would either watch way too much t.v. or I would keep the television in storage until I really had something to watch. So I'm putting the internet in storage for a little while.
My rules: email is still in, because it's a necessary part of my work as a pastor. Financial interactions (paying bills, making necessary purchases) are in, but online window-shopping is out. Also, if someone adds me as a friend on facebook, I'll accept, but only to avoid hurt feelings. Finally, there are one or two couple small tasks for which I use the internet; I'll continue those.
So, no blog posts. No twitters. No news. No youtube. No wikipedia. No drudge.
Ultimately, I'm headed back to the stone age in an attempt to get enough perspective to discern what parts of this internet are worth keeping around in my life.