I spend about blahbety-blah percent of my life online.
Let’s just assume that figure’s high. And it’s got a nine in the first digit.
And there’s, like, three digits.
But it’s sort of nuts when I think about it – not just in a lament-modern-society-slaves sorta way. No, I mean I’m realizing that only about half of that time’s spent doing actual work. And when I say half, I mean 20 percent.
With a left decimal shift.
That’s a problem because my laptop’s not namely for leisure anymore. I don’t know how I ever thought I’d take on writing for a job. I’m so not a self-starter. When somebody told me I’d get paid to work from home, I thought “awesome!”. When I realized I’d be using the ultimate distraction contraption to do that, I thought, “oh..!” I totally mean well when I unwittingly open twelve million tabs, because I start with just a few that make working between each easier. But before I know it, by some binary voodoo, my browser becomes a highly filtered extension of my own crazy brain chatter – those torrents of unintelligible thoughts simultaneously traveling tangent off each other at light speed, each become collated digital pages.
Makes me anxious.
When I look at one tab, I think “oh, yeah! That’s an email I have to send off!”
And when I look at another: “Gotta finish reading that thing so I can sound smart later and pretend I always knew about it!”
And then another one will be related to some time sensitive deadline crap. And the five tabs that relate to it are lined up to the right like loyal ducklings following after their mother (and generally load just as slow).
Before I know it, I’m on tab twelve, watching reruns of AquaTeen’s Bananahand episode and old Threebrain videos – none of which have lost their comic touch since my college years.
My first internet-intro was like slowly learning there was no Santa – except more fun. I sort of felt like everything had been done before – or what was already done was better than what I could offer. What’s more – the same machine that was bringing me this bad news was offering the solution via endless entertainment and conflicting answers to all my questions. I could’ve just asked my parents the questions if I wanted the latter banter experience – like a basketball referee doing a vertical meat toss between sparring Rottweilers.
It retrospectively reminds me a bit of T.V.’s parallel effect – that feeling of the sad sads I’d get when I’d see Gwen Stefani and want her ripped abs before a commercial would air, assuring me I’d need a Billy Blanks VHS (when an actual blank VHS would’ve been more effective) to attain Stefani status.
I’m not blaming the internet (or Gwen; she’s my goddess). It’s like any other magical powers – you can use it for good or evil depending on how crazy you are. If you’re sound of mind, it’s a useful tool. If you’re a spastic sputtering ball of feminervousness, it can enslave you.
I wish there was some redeeming climax to this story’s end. But if you know me at all, it’s more like watching one of the million cinematic Titanic re-creations. You know what becomes of the boat. The biggest spoiler is whether some priceless rocks get tossed in an abyss of fish. Yet you wait around anyway to see if they’ll show boobs flashbacks.
Truth is, I sifted through dusty memorabilia recently -old projects and the like – and realized I did a fkk of a lot more prior to my life online circa sixth grade. My mom gave me Jane Eyre when I was nine. I read it while sick with chicken pocks (god those were awful). I taught myself how to play piano by pitch a year or two after that (but couldn’t read music). I won money and prizes for drawing these cartoons where the characters taught each other science or other educational stuff.
So, why? I mean, are you serious? I do none’a that now – except writing.
If I got the pocks today, reading would be the last thing on my mind. I’m such a wimp that I’d regress into a monkey and actively seek out reality TV reruns (equiv of blasphemy in my religious sect). Or – do you ever look at something you wrote or drew years ago and think, “Ha! That was quite good!” and then bathe in the self-congratulatory glow a while of a craft you’ve not kept up? Yeah, why not make more? Why not learn to read music? Why not learn the rest of Spanish and then another language too?
Somewhere between mousey haired bespectacled me and this bottle blonde bitch-clown, I gradually gave some interconnected network of strangers with their misinformation,“likes”, and curt commentary, the same keys to the kingdom that I’d just ripped from organized religion.
Neither deserve it.
I totally need an internet break. Some Thoreau style, introspective adventure before I waste any more of my precious life to this PC succubus. This terminal terminal. This carpal tunnel inducing pernicious appliance of a malevolent machine and diabolical desktop…
No, I know what I just said.
But… it’s Jeff Goldblum.
And he’s chortling like a Chihuahua…
Excuse me a second, I need to erase this whole thing and start over.