A decision dilemma
"I don't want you to spend so much time on the Internet," said my mother. "Stop updating your journal. Take it down."
Like an obedient Chinese daughter, I listened. There must be a good reason for my mother to demand this of her grown-up daughter. She knows that I spend a lot of time, perhaps too much, updating my journal and my websites.
What started as a voluntary enterprise has become an obligation at times as I try to manage my readers' expectations. I have even put aside other priorities to keep my journal updated on a daily basis. The goal of continuity, constancy, and completeness has overtaken my initial goal of writing to practise and to vent.
Why should I listen to my mother when she doesn't even go online to read what I write? She is just speculating that I reveal a lot of personal details about myself. She has no idea that some people do value what I write. My father, for instance, reads my writing and feels as though he is there, with me, in my travels around the world.
Instead of tormenting myself over this decision dilemma in my head, I decided to write it out. I practised what I preached. In the recent decision making workshop, I asked all 15 participants to apply the five-step decision making methodology on the decision dilemma they brought to the workshop.
Step 1: Define, structure and frame the problem.
Yes, I do want to spend less time in cyberspace now that I have become busier in the physical world of face to face. Indeed, I don't want to feel obliged to update my sites. What is the point of being so "available" --- to answer questions, to receive feedback, to be up-to-date --- when I am really not THAT available anymore?
Step 3: Explore alternatives.
After ten minutes of working out the issues, I gained clarity. The next step is implementation.
27 September 2004 Monday