I Spend Too Much Time Online

It’s not often I’m faced with an overwhelming epiphany while laying on the floor, but I guess that’s as good a place for epiphanies as anywhere else. This particular floor was different from the one I usually lay on. For one, it was in a different house. And two, this floor was not surrounded by a house with internet. I didn’t get internet until I was almost through with high school. Until then, I would trek to a laundromat and abuse their free wireless to watch youtube and download movies. Things have changed since then. I’ve changed.

Like the intrepid dandelion or any other weed, I suck the more I grow

I used to read books. Whole books! And I’d do it while there were other things to do around me. I’d turn my nose at the chance to hang out with friends because I’d rather kick it with the fellowship of the ring. I remember telling the people to whom I was closest that I couldn’t go to one of their rad high school parties because I “had homework.” The reality was that I had just discovered a new author I loved and needed to power through every single word they’d ever written. I didn’t need internet; I had books.

This shelf of beautiful ancient books looks nothing like my old shelves of gratuitous fantasy and weird books about writing

I’ve been changed by the internet. I like instant gratification and pictures now. I’ve infantilized myself by immersing my entire existence in quick punchlines and inside jokes in which there are millions of people on the inside and the people on the outside don’t care. And I crave it when it is denied to me.

The shorts I watched were nothing like these

However, being away from the internet, or at least far enough that I couldn’t blog but could still check my email, has taught me something I knew before. I’m pretty boring. There’s a reason people are inclined to distract themselves from their own heads: it’s awful locked up in there. Why would I want to stay trapped in myself when there are funny pictures of cats to look at. Why would I want to lend my imagination to engage with a vibrant world articulated by a master author when I could just lay back and let entertainment drown me. At least, that’s what my impulses tell me. I don’t like that they’re doing that. I miss neglecting my friends to do something I could feel smug about later. I’d much rather ignore my students’ emails to read something than to watch 45 minutes of horror movie shorts on Youtube.

In short, I’ve become lazy and somewhat boring because the internet is so alive and exciting, and being trapped in my head is a nightmare comparable to being locked in a DMV with every person who would normally be at a Walmart after midnight.  I think I should read more and be online less. Probably.

24 Replies to “I Spend Too Much Time Online”

  1. The English teacher in me can’t resist. Infinitive: lie. Gerund: lying. Past Simple: lay. Past participle: lain. It is intransitive. The transitive infinitive “lay” is different. So, unless you were momentarily a chicken passing eggs from your rear end onto the floor, you were lying on the floor, not laying on the floor. However, I have watched Grimm, so maybe your a Wesen. I don’t recall seeing a chicken-like Wesen but it’s fun to make up new German-sounding words. Maybe you’re a Bwakbwakereggen and when you Volga you usually lay (eggs) on the floor. I hope you’re not a useless Wesen, like those beaver things, or the pig things. It’s much better to be a Wesen with some useful powers and use the verb “lie” incorrectly (I recall one that could set people on fire and his grammar was pretty bad).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know you are right, at least for me. Yet, can I let go of the lure the megabytes hold for me? I may be boring but, to tell the truth, I rather like my own company, finding many of the people around me pompous and overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not even sure we’re abusing the Internet. It’s more like it’s abusing us. Making us dumber (ironically), lazier, more shallow, less original, and more narcissistic. But here we are (trying to make sense of our online presence?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to think it’s a mutually toxic relationship: we’re getting dumber, but then the things we post to the internet are dumber which makes it a dumber place overall, which then feeds into the further en-dumbening of internet users. It’s beautiful really, and all we can do is make neat stuff and throw it into the dumb-storm

      Liked by 1 person

      1. psh, your sarcasm is excellent. My fault for responding to comments while teaching. I’m caught between answering questions about drafts and being online. This is probably a good indication of how my unhealthy internet habits have bled into life

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha. Responding to comments on a blog post with the title “I Spend Too Much Time Online” while teaching. Unhealthy maybe, but epic at the same time. Thanks for the giggle.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I just realized I liked the comment, but no, I don’t like the fact that you have a problem. Speaking of the online environment, I’m always surprised when I see that status updates on Facebook about bad and disturbing things which happened to the user get a fair amount of likes.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I can’t pick between shock or disappointment about how weirdly public a lot of people get with their life that should remain more private. Maybe I’m just naturally reclusive, but it seems strange to advertise every bad thing that happens.

        Liked by 1 person

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