For the first time in my life, I feel as though I am truly addicted to something. Yet, I’m a bit confused on the nature of this addiction and thus feel the need to write in the hopes of getting it sorted out.
This monster is always on, always there continually calling me to it. It is present in my personal life, my work life and even if I break away I can only do so for minutes at the time. What is worse is that I am not alone. With a regular addiction, perhaps I could pull away from my fellow sufferers but it appears that the whole world is tapping into this menace.
I am talking about “The Internet.”
I am quite sure I have passed the stage where one receives immense euphoria from interacting with it but instead find it as an impulse which brings no real pleasure but is something my mind is telling me I must do. The lights, sounds and massive amount of data entering my head return me to a “normal state” whereas if I pull away and *gasp* even go sit in a park or something I feel almost lightheaded. It seems as though my brain requires information and if it is not being stimulated then I feel weird.
This was not as severe as before but then I got an Iphone. The Iphone is not so much a phone as it is a device which connects me to the entirety of all human knowledge and the heartbeat of daily human activity!!! I’m not sure which analogy works best in order to describe it but I’ve narrowed the field to two. The first is the Predator in which the alien has the device on his arm which tells him whatever he wants to know. The second is the Matrix where any program can be loaded such as the karate program and in a few seconds Neo says “Woah, I know Karate.” In the same respect, I can walk into a wine store and say “Woah, I know the rating and tasting notes of this wine.” or “Whoa, I know how to spell whoa correctly.”
A normal hour for me would look like this:
1. Check the Facebook page two times – Need to know what my friends are up to
2. Check the work e-mail in case a message has arrived.
3. Check the news to see if anything interesting has happened (only about 5 interesting things have happened since 2005 but I cannot stop)
4. Check the stockmarket and hope it goes down so I can buy
5. Think about writing something in my blog (I still only write about once a week but the thoughts are there.)
On a workday, I do the following:
1. Check E-mail and write a million e-mails
2. Do some research on the customers
3. Head out to my appointments with the Ipod playing on the Iphone so I don’t miss any calls.
4. Check work e-mail two times before I reach my first customer
5. Check my database to refresh myself of everyones names.
6. Go to next customer and repeat.
And all that is just in an hour. Even if I can stop checking things for a while, the internet still consumes me. I will watch all my shows, movies and so on through the internet. If I read a book, it is on my Iphone. If I read the news it is also on my Iphone. If I’m not doing either of those things I play stupid World of Warcraft which I plan on quitting once and for all. If I’m not playing a game I’m doing research in order to progress at something real-worldish.
Then, I catch myself, try to meditate a little bit and ask “Can I do absolutely nothing for a while?” So I start to just sit and think but the thoughts are going around my head a mile a minute and before I know it my fingers are typing at the keyboard once again. I then ask myself “How did I return here?” AND I don’t know how it happened!! Some force just pulled me back into the internet.
I recently watched “Frontline: Digital Nation” and I see the college students of today are EVEN WORSE! So it makes me glad to feel I’m not alone in all this but I swear I kind of think I should just go sit in a forest for a week or two with no Iphone and get my head back on straight.
Unfortunately, I am smack in the middle of San Francisco and there are no forests in walking distance. Therefore, that leaves only a couple of options:
1. Continue on the internet
2. Read a book on my Iphone
3. Go to the gym
4. Go to the corner bar
5. Watch a documentary on Netflix
Being Thursday and wonderful outside I think option #4 is going to win. That offers me a little comfort as I can take various short breaks by engaging in conversation with real people but the Iphone will be present and the Facebook will be checked.
I think I will also check if any monasteries in the mountains with no electricity are accepting applications. Perhaps there will be a group on Facebook?
Well composed old man…. now take that connectivity, and try to go developing world again… internet blackouts, power failures, government meddling, server hangs, and dial-up (actually I have that problem in the states)… like ice crystals forming in water your neurons seize as you wait for power to return, or the page to load… same as the monkey in the cage pushing ht button to deliver cocaine…click reload… click reload… click reload… click reload… click reload… click reload… click reload… … … …
That is hilarious about the monkey and yes I remember those days. The only thing I can compare it to here in S.F. is how long my Iphone takes because of crappy AT&T. Everyone uses smartphones here and the network is permanently overloaded.
But thanks for reminding me how nice it is to be in the first world again concerning power and fast internet. It is also good to have a full pressure shower. Now, if we could just turn everyone into friendly, smiling Vietnamese people then life would be perfecto.
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