Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I wish I'd put a date on this when I wrote it.

I know I sound like an old-timer raising her cane against the unavoidable ravages of time, but I promise that the internet didn’t used to be as horribly distracting as it is now. I remember having DSL for the first time in college and being overwhelmed by the limitless possibilities that came from having a computer that was always connected to the internet. It was an embarrassment of riches, really, though I occasionally had minor freakouts over the phone to my parents that I was spending too much time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer message boards and not studying enough. Because my grades were just short of perfect, my parents had a few freakouts of their own, telling me to calm the fuck down already and enjoy life a little.

But I’ve never fully been able to move past the feelings of guilt that come from spending unproductive hours in front of a computer screen. For the office workers among us, internet access can be a godsend (how did anyone survive the boredom of administrative work before Google?), but that’s only because you’re chained to a desk anyway and the internet is offering you the illusion of an out.

On your own time, it turns into another TV habit or video game addiction. You can spend forever at it but it never takes you anywhere.

I think back with affection to the days of yore when turning on my computer in the morning seemed like opening up my life to another world. Once the internet started to saturate every aspect of daily life – once it stopped being something you got to by turning on a machine and started being something that you carried with you in your pocket – it stopped being another world and started being this one.

 The real world, paradoxically, became the escape.


  1. True dat! I used to feel like that in the days of yore, too. Now at work it is an escape, a glimpse into the "real" world to quick look up info on the sly: What is the name of that song I heard? Who wrote that book I read? Online isn't another world now, it is my world. And it's a little boring.