PDA

View Full Version : Creating digital white space



KayLR
4-1-11, 12:56pm
I like this article from the Poynter Institute:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/4qu3fgu

Just as white space on a page draws attention to what is most visually important, digital white space can help us focus on those ideas that take some time to formulate.

What he is discussing is how we spend so much time accumulating data and information we don't take the time to process it, think about it.

I was surprised to read what he says about the fact that our obsession with packing information and communications didn't start in the digital age. He mentions even peers of Thoreau finding it difficult to enjoy life without the distraction of "this place called the post office."

The writer also cited a Roman philosopher who bemoaned people oversharing intimate details of their lives. (early Twitterers?)

edited for typo

puglogic
4-3-11, 2:01pm
I liked that article a lot, kaylrz. I'm intrigued by 750Words.com too (mentioned in it). I was thinking about this last night as we sat with a friend whom we hadn't seen or spoken to in more then 6 years. Finally visiting from another state, we'd been looking forward to catching up on his life. He kept his iPhone on the table, checking it when we were in mid-sentence, sending quick texts now and then, the whole nine yards. It was distracting at best, disrespectful at worst.

I work in the digital industry and I know how hard it is to create white space amid the crush of information options. But I do it so I don't forget why I'm here and what's important to me.

KayLR
4-3-11, 8:42pm
thanks for responding, pug....was wondering if anyone actually read it or not.

loosechickens
4-3-11, 9:08pm
never think that people don't see it and think about it, Kay, when you post something. I notice this thread has had 84 views so far, so just because people don't comment, doesn't mean they don't access it and ponder its message.

I think everything changes and nothing changes....it's like reading that quote about how "today's young people don't respect their elders," etc.,etc.,etc., and then finding out that it was written by Socrates or somebody in ancient Greece.

I DO absolutely hate it when people are talking to you and are texting and taking calls at the same time......that would really bother me, too, Pug....

Gardenarian
4-11-11, 4:21pm
Good article - and something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

It is sad that blogging seems to be turning into a sort of pyramid scheme, in that many blogs seem to exist for the writer to get as many hits as possible, and bloggers are constantly searching for ways to up their readership. The one thing that they seem to neglect is having true originality of content. Practically every blog I read starts with a quotation; to me, this says "I want to write something but someone else wrote it so much better than I could." I admit to overusing quotations myself (though I am not a blogger); when you are writing online the temptation to find out what everyone else has written BEFORE you actually write is huge. Which goes back to the article again, talking about "writing what you don't know."

I think it is scary to put your naked self out there, but that is just what is needed - fresh voices, reaching deep.

And YES, the constant fondling, caressing, and stroking of people's iThings drives me crazy too. I don't own one and am starting to feel like a freak; people now have an expectation that I will have constant and immediate access to email or other digital communication devices. No thanks!

leslieann
4-11-11, 5:27pm
I opened this up in hopes of finding white space between my digital files but I recognized myself in a non-digital way; I feel compelled to gather more and more information, but then often will barely scan it for something useful. I am certain that if I gave myself time and space to let the ideas sink in and through, I'd find a lot more use for the info and probably an original application for it. So I will put this concept into my idea space and let it simmer...white space in my life, white space in my thinking life. Guess that is what meditation provides, in a sense, is a ground for all those figural concepts.

And I really loved your comment about the "constant fondling, caressing, and stroking of people's iThings, " Gardenarian. That's it; it is like some intimacy put out for the public. Very apt.

KayLR
4-11-11, 9:53pm
I have begun to try and lessen my online time incrementally, so as to provide myself more white space. Constant checking of email bulletin boards, Facebook links and news readers has had a negative effect on my attention span and ability to read thoroughly. I scan so much, take in so much, that I'm not fully digesting what I'm reading. So far, I like what is happening. I seem much calmer during the day. On my breaks, I am completely unplugged so I can relax and reflect. It's a good thing. I think Thoreau had something there.

Miss Minimalist
4-12-11, 10:48am
I really enjoyed this, KayLRZ -- thank you for posting it. I'm blissfully detached from my cell phone, but as a blogger and writer, I feel like I'm waging a constant battle against online distractions. I've been taking digital sabbaticals on the weekends to preserve my sanity. The problem, of course, is the pileup of emails I face on Monday morning. :0! It's hard to find a balance when the inflow never stops!

Greg44
4-12-11, 11:12am
And YES, the constant fondling, caressing, and stroking of people's iThings drives me crazy too. I don't own one and am starting to feel like a freak; people now have an expectation that I will have constant and immediate access to email or other digital communication devices. No thanks!

ditto BIG ditto!