So, here I sit in my Flyer office, with its thin gray carpet and faded yellow walls. My desk is utilitarian — steel-and-fake-wood, with one drawer that won't close all the way. There's a window to the larger office outside, but it's got a curtain, and when I shut my door and draw the curtain, this place is a great spot to focus on writing and editing and blogging. Dark and cozy.
At least, it used to be. But now the bottom of my computer screen is constantly teasing me, trying to divert me from the task at hand. As I write this, for example, the e-mail icon is tirelessly bouncing up and down, indicating some fresh e-juice awaits. The Twitter alert is popping onscreen in the lower right-hand corner every few seconds, letting me know that one or more of my "friends" has posted an update.
How the hell am I supposed to work? How can I possibly ignore my friends? See, here's an email letting me know that someone wants to be my friend on Facebook. A new friend!! How great is that!
I know. I know. I could and should turn off the alerts. Shut out the cyberworld. Focus.
But I don't wanna. Besides, I'm in the news and entertainment biz. If I shut off the outside world, I'll miss something important.
For instance, since 8:00 this morning I've learned the following from Twitter:
A man was arrested for trying to burn the gay pride flag in Cooper-Young; Hippolite Tsafack will play basketball for the University of Memphis; there will be a speed-dating event at SOB tonight; WREG reporter Mike Matthews joked that he is known as the King of cold cuts; the Memphis Airport has become a nation-wide joke on Twitter, thanks to R.C. Johnson's referring to it as a recruiting asset. And that's just the minimal highlights gleaned from 148 tweets. There's so much more.
E-mail, for instance. All day long, my email has been delivering even more exciting news: Marsha Blackburn is doing something patriotic for Veterans Day; four bands want their CD reviewed; several folks think my penis needs improvement; my buddy Jerry wants to play golf Saturday; somebody thinks we should run a different astrology column (the one he writes) in the Flyer; there's a new recycling thingie called "trash talk" that's perfect for tailgating and parties. And those are just a very few of the highlights from the more than 220 e-mails I've received so far today.
So you see, I couldn't possibly shut off the outside cyber-world. This is vital information, necessary for my work. Without it, for example, I couldn't possibly have written this blog post.