One of my new Facebook friends, a gifted writer and successful blogger herself posted a link to an alarming article about internet addiction. Scary stuff. Apparently being online all the time not only is turning our brains into mush but also causing us to develop serious mental illnesses. As per my last rant, I thought it was only petty narcissism. However scientific studies are confirming a link between internet activity and psychosis, OCD, ADD, anxiety, depression, and multiple personality disorders. Of course I have all of those problems as well but I assumed it was all the coffee I’ve been drinking thanks to my Fathers Day gift from my kids (one of those fancy Keurig one shot of anything coffee machines). It’s hard to resist having Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Caribou Coffee and Peets dark roast/Red Bull blend…all in one day. By the time I get into bed at night I am ready not just for my Ambien, but for a shot of Haldol and Thorazine as well. Maybe I can get a k-cup canister of those powerful medications that also fits into the handy dandy caffeine machine.
Anyway, this article which was so well written that I seethed with internet induced jealousy and envy, something I am quite used to. It really hit home. Of course after reading it fully and digesting its implications I felt compelled to stay online and do further research, just to see if the guy was making shit up. Of course he wasn’t and I could literally feel my frontal lobes turning into Jello while I searched WebMD and Wikipedia for further proof. I was highly annoyed at one point by my need to use the bathroom, so of course I shlepped both my cell phone and my laptop with me…..Omg, what am I doing? I’m turning into Cartman from South Park when he gets addicted to playing World of Warcraft! He had his mother bring him a plastic urinal bowl so he could continue to stay connected and play video games uninterrupted. I’m only a tad behind him since I was wondering if Verizon has water resistant cell phone covers so that I can take my phone into the shower with me, just in case. Just in case of what? That’s the central question. Is this what the Matrix and that uber-confusing Inception movie were trying to say? Is my life just a virtual dream and I’m really a quadriplegic dwarf with a head sensor and a blow tube directing a cursor on a screen somewhere and living a second life as a neurotic Jewish Psychologist? So many possibilities and so few answers. I think maybe I’ll just take a walk outside instead.
I do think the internet offers a rich source of material — but it depends on your intention. If you’re reading to educate yourself, and to build community with other writers, I think that’s a good thing. I also think that building a brand through social media is important and worthwhile and also FUN. I’ve made great contacts with other bloggers via social media. If you’re multi-cyber-tasking to avoid dealing with life, however, that’s obviously going to create a whole other set of problems. It was astonishing to learn that internet overload was the cause of that documentary filmmaker’s psychotic break.
wait, let me plug back in the USB port in my head so I can instantly respond Pauline, lol. All good points of course.