Lately I’ve been finding myself in the tangles of cyberspace, trying to pick through information to find nuggets that are relevant and applicable to my projects at hand. I get frustrated – at myself mostly – because what sets out as a simple search for, say, bed and breakfasts in Santa Monica, CA, turns into an hour of time flown by, a dozen websites that I’ve never seen before and now suddenly want to know more about, and more information on my hands than I know what to do with.
Is it a problem?
I don’t know. In all truth, the Internet is still just a baby. When I was 10 years old, an “email address” was unheard of. To do any sort of research, you had to haul yourself to a library and (gulp) check out books! Now, Google is a shortcut item on many computers, and for some, research is as simple as typing a one-word topic into a search bar. Heck, Google is so popular, it has even become a verb.
Here’s the thing, though. I don’t think the Internet and the information available through it is a problem unless we make it a problem. The information – in all its glory, ugliness, truth and flat-out fluff and jargon – is there. It is up to us to decide what to do with it.
Which is the hurdle I am facing. What happens when I come across a Website I really want to know more about, but don’t have time to dig into at the moment? Do I jot it down, alongside a list of a million other “to dos,” and hope I’ll get back to it? Do I shake off my next task and allow myself to explore, since my interest is piqued right at that moment? Or do I shrug and say, “Nah, no time,” and move on?
What seems to make the most sense to me is to jot information down that I want to know more about, and then create time in the near future to come back to it and spend time with it exclusively. One thing I have learned: if something is important enough to you, you will make time to spend with it. And if a site is worth exploring online, it usually surfaces in your life more than once.
So my question to you – What do you do when you find yourself tangled in the www.’s of cyberspace? How do you manage the information that abounds online? Do you find you have a handful of trusty sites you stick to, or do you allow yourself to wander and keep yourself open to whatever new discoveries might be out there? What tips to you have to stay focused?