Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Introverts and communication tech

I'm not a big Skype user, and my IM client (Proteus, by the way) is up only when I need to reach somebody instantly. My e-mail is up constantly, and my e-mail client (Eudora, still) checks for mail every five minutes.

When I work, or when I used to study, I never have music playing in the background. It's just too distracting. I know many people do listen to music as they work or read, but I've never understood how or why they can do that.

Furthermore, when I work, I don't like to be interrupted in the middle of a task unit. That doesn't mean that if I'm writing an article or a report that I have to finish the whole thing, but I do need to complete my thought or paragraph before I get up from my chair (speaking of my chair, see below). It's why I'm usually a few minutes delayed when called for supper or for something else. I have to complete that quantum.

All these characteristics are related, if Joe Kissell is correct. He's written an article misleadingly titled "Instant Messaging for Introverts" for TidBITS. What he's written is more of a primer on how introverts, with himself as the holotype, interact with technology and why. It's fascinating, perhaps because I see myself in just about everything he explains. Give it a read.

Oh, yes, my chair. My old one collapsed on me and I had to buy a new one. It's no tragedy - I use pretty much the cheapest chair you can buy, the $8.97 model at Reno Depot. No Aeron for me - I find the cheap folding chair perfectly comfortable. I have my chair on a plywood floor that's raised a few inches on lumber. I built that (OK, Elvi did, but I designed it) so my arms could rest comfortably on my pine desk for typing. The problem with my set-up is that the plastic feet on the first chair I had came off and started to gouge divots in the plywood.

When I bought the replacement chair yesterday, I had the brilliant idea of adding extra feet with felt anti-scuff pads. The model chair I buy, however, only has feet in front. At the rear, the two legs are a single piece of metal bent into a squared U and the horizontal bar rests on the ground. I can't put feet on it, so right now this chair is tilted ever so slightly up at the front. It adds a lot of strain to my back when I move forward to type.

I'm going to remove the additional feet for now while I figure out what to do. I think duct tape might be the solution. I'll jerry-build some duct-tape "feet" by wrapping the tape at two places on the back bar. That could work, although it will detract from the natural beauty of the painted aluminum and vinyl.

Bonus frustration of the week:

First, let me remind you that it's legal to download shared music in Canada. Now, on to the meat.... My copy of Human League's original "Keep Feeling (Fascination)" starts with the quavering chords of a cheesy organ before it gets into the bass line. The problem is that my copy cuts out abruptly without the fadeout.

I've been looking for a better copy without having to dig out my vinyl, but the only files I can find online are a different version with synthetic tones at the start instead of the organ. It's soulless. And I'm obsessed with finding a replacement.


Blogger Regan said...

Good article on introversion. Interestingly, I'm an I and a J, but I don't have the same issue with IM as Joe does. Well. Let me rephrase. I think somehow IM isn't an interruption for me. The phone? Definitely. Someone showing up in the door of the office to talk? Definitely. IM, somehow not. But, then again, most of my IM buddies are either coworkers or also introverts, who always ask if "now's a good time." That allows me to downshift to an activity that doesn't require all my focus while I'm catching up with whomever.

April 9, 2008 10:18 PM  

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