Do You Think the Internet is a Distraction?

Okay, I’m procrastinating. My to-do list has 29 projects and 473 tasks on it. And writing a blog post where I intentionally set out to use the Internet to distract you from productive work is not even on that list. But I don’t care. I’m doing it. 🙂

Every day I get upwards of 200 emails. Many are fascinating. But I have to ignore most of it and focus on work or I’ll go broke. So I almost always drop them on my to-do list to look at later. (Later only sometimes comes.)  And that’s just counting the distractions that come in through email. Many more are available at every moment with just a click of a mouse through Facebook, the news, Twitter, Google +, and many other places. (I’m sure it’s the same for you.) I can’t always be disciplined, right? So I’m sharing some of the most distracting things that I tried to resist — but failed — today.

Since 1990, the maternal death rate in the US has doubled

My 15-year old was nearly 11 pounds at birth. He’s 6’2” and 180 pounds today. But if I didn’t live in the West and have access to excellent health care, neither of us (nor the sister who was born two year later) would be here today. Every day, worldwide, 1000 women die in childbirth. Most are in the developing world. But the rate in the US — despite advances in medicine that are readily available here – has doubled in the last ten years. Almost all of these losses – to women, family, home, community, the millions of motherless children — are preventable. Merck has launched a campaign, Merck for Mothers, to prevent more of those deaths. You can afford five minutes to watch the video (above), right?

The Golden Gate Bridge was conceived by a madman. Really.

I spent more than a decade living in the San Francisco Bay Area. And in all that time, the bridges that connect “The City” to Marin County and the East Bay never ceased to amaze me. If you’ve ever crossed – or admired from afar – the Golden Gate Bridge, you will enjoy this history of how that bridge came to be. Any story that starts with a lunatic, includes horrifying loss of life, and has a happy ending makes a good read. It would probably make a good movie. But you’ll have to make do with this Wired article for now.


There is an awesome sale…

I buy almost everything at Prices are amazing, shipping is free, and customer service is up to the standard that only a Zappos company seems capable of (it’s’s sale site.) But right now there is a very distracting sale going on. Help. Me. Stay. Strong….Oops. I shopped. But I’m back now.


Father Goes Nuts on Facebook


I have two teenagers. So I know exactly the frustration, gall, and astonished disbelief that made this dad want to read what his daughter said about him on Facebook (warning, there’s some cussing), have the last word (her laptop is dead so presumably she can’t respond in kind), and shoot her laptop in front of an audience of – so far — 32,906,264 viewers. Personally, I think he should have calmly taken away her laptop, unplugged the Internet, explained to her what she’d done wrong and how long she would have to go without internet as a result, and poured himself a drink. Because one day she will (hopefully) be older and make more sense and he might actually like her. And this little incident will have created a wedge. And besides once you get into a fight with a child, the child has won. But I’ll admit that might be easier for me now because I can watch – over and over — this video of him doing exactly what every parent of a digital teen longs to do.

Play in Subway

Beneful dog food sent me some cool photos of the state-of-the-art advertising billboard they installed in New York’s Columbus Circle subway station yesterday. I’ll bet a lot of New Yorkers were late for work because they could stop and play with this 64-foot-long interactive billboard that lets you play fetch with on-screen dog.  The company plans to install interactive billboards in Chicago (155 N. Michigan), Los Angeles (Santa Monica Place), Atlanta (54Alabama) and St. Louis (Walnut/7th St) this month as well. Unless I get on a plane, I will have to make do watching this video of three small dogs denying they had anything to do with that (unseen) “mess.”

Now I really do have to get back to work.

1 thought on “Do You Think the Internet is a Distraction?

  1. In 2008, the U.S. was ranked 39th in maternal mortality. It’s horrifying that women in developing nations cannot get the healthcare they need during pregnancy, but it’s insane that here, a place where we have gold-standard medical care, our rate is so high. Perhaps there is such a thing as too much medical intervention, I have to wonder, as I stand by a woman in labor and watch the doctor induce her labor because she is “too pregnant,” then have to do a C section to handle the fetal distress he causes by inducing labor. In the end, she felt “saved” by the section because her baby was over 9 lbs., and she felt her body could not have “passed” such a huge child. In reality, there is no way to determine this except a trial of second stage (pushing) labor.
    I love stopping by to read your writing! And thanks for the tip.
    I am going to spend more (distracted) time checking out Merck’s program. Thanks for this.

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