The internet is depressing. I know so much stuff right now that I really wish I didn’t. Every morning I wake up to stories of economic disaster, poverty, death, systemic violence against females, war, injustice… It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s going on in the world, more that I don’t want to be immersed in the worst of it from morning til night. A part of me actually feels guilty for not spending 100% of my time staring this stuff in the face, as if that would change any part of it, or help me, or anyone. It just makes me bloody miserable, that’s all.
The other depressing thing about the internet is the fact that it provides an infinitely deep pool of mindless distractions, perhaps to counterbalance the constant stream of bad news and misery. So you read the news and blogs about what terrible things are happening, and it’s so awful you have to go and stare at pictures of cute kittens for half an hour, just to give you the energy to face the rest of the day.
Before I had broadband internet access, I never once went to the library to look at pictures of cats. If you had told me then that I would one day spend literal hours of my life reading articles about films I had no intention of ever seeing, or that I’d seek out and watch a video about how pencils are made, I would have laughed in your face. Actually, that pencil video is pretty interesting. But the point remains.
A while ago, I paid money for a program (Freedom) which enables me to turn off my internet and stops me from turning it back on until I’ve finished my work. That is a great program, but seriously? What kind of weak-minded person has to be physically restrained from checking facebook? When she’s supposed to be doing her life’s work? There is clearly something wrong with me.
So I’ve decided to take drastic measures, and ditch broadband. I’m moving cities soon, and whatever kind of new place I find myself living in, it’s not going to have constant internet access. I reckon that if I have to buy a cup of coffee every time I want to check my emails, my internet use is going to become a lot more focused and efficient. Either that, or I will become a caffeine-crazed, broke, non-writing writer, who spends all her time in cafes looking at lolcats and having palpitations. I’m willing to take my chances.