Midnight Rant On Internet Habits

It’s quarter to midnight as I write this. I already wrote a nice, quick, inoffensive blogpost, a literary landscape with cake – a throwaway moment in time that helped me deal with my huge appetite for today, in context of my tiredness and need for rest. I keep thinking though. That’s the thing with me; I can’t stop thinking.

Today wouldn’t quite have gone the way it did if I had no Internet. That’s just a fact. Yes, I was overwhelmed because I wanted to do a lot of things, but I would have likely done more of them if distraction wasn’t so readily available. We often talk about access, accessibility – and Internet breaks a lot of barriers for everybody. We no longer have to contend with gatekeepers of knowledge, a lot of it is free for the taking. That IS wonderful, but we have new problems now. The overabundance of information – truthful and false – is one of them. But what really concerns me is the ready availability of online content that is emotive and stirring. When I read articles that activate both thought and emotion, when I read Facebook updates, I feel connected to… something, shaken, moved sometimes. But I have very little control over what I’m going to encounter and weirdly, it’s the easiest thing to access of all the available Things.

I’m not explaining this right. I am a fan of Internet, if one can say such a thing; I certainly don’t expect to stop using it permanently, we’re on my blog over here. But often I have to get offline to realise that I’m relatively isolated; that I haven’t reached out to friends; that I have too many encounters of the purely online kind. Add to this the fact that easily digestible emotional experiences are a click away, and I begin to feel like a rat in an experiment cage, pressing the button for cocaine. Sure, we don’t stop living – we cook and clean and go to work and perform all the productive functions – but I feel that my quality of life suffers without disconnecting from it at least a little bit.

I used to live in a house that had no WiFi – I had no data on my old school phone at the time – and remember experiencing it as a welcome relief. Like, I had to go to a cafe or library to go online, and that would switch me in the work mode. I remember being so relaxed. And sure, when I go vaguely offline nowadays, I let myself look things up – my offline discipline does NOT extend to recipes – but at least I’m grounded in the present, making stuff with my hands. Don’t get me wrong: I love being connected to the web, finding friends and common interests, but I also feel… dried out and stretched and imbalanced when I’m in there for a long time. Perhaps that is why I consciously sought out employment that doesn’t require a lot of online activity?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I experience a pull to use my online experience more consciously. That’s how this blog started: as a private call to action, to create a writing habit and put my words into the world, instead of steadily inhaling someone else’s. Perhaps using Internet sparingly is the answer here, the answer in which I will fail a hundred times, because a month’s long experiment is like a diet, and what I’m after is a lifestyle change: a permanent solution, not a yo-yo effect. And for this, a cutesy cake post, much as it is relatable and descriptive, doesn’t quite cut it. I’m asking myself this: why do you write? Who do you write for? I’ve yet to find the answers.

 

The New Way Of Walking

Mood: thoughtful. Lonely.

Google searches: Alan Rickman, “Jinx” (due to cryptic conversation with a housemate re: films to watch on house movie night)

Today was a weird day. Yesterday it’s been a week since I quit my job. I’m doing great and I’ve been saying as much; today I will acknowledge the rest of reality.

My back hurts. It was one of the motors of change. I’m waiting for an NHS physio appointment (standard waiting period: 12 weeks); my disc has been moving, apparently. Also, I went to a fitness class, which I intend to continue – possibly muscle pain has compounded in, today.

I didn’t leave the house. My mistake. I was trying to make myself work, when I really needed a rest – but I don’t work well from the house, unless I have a time limit. Yesterday I’ve done quite a lot of work, because I was going out to a stand-up night with friends. Today things got a bit more blurry.

I’m learning. I’m learning my own tells. How can I have the life I want, if I don’t pay attention to what I want, and how I behave? So I’m paying attention to what makes me tick. Sometimes I back away from change. After doing a show I have a hiding period. I’ve done two stand-up monologues this week, plus a pitch and lots of other things. I’m really doing pretty damn well.

Since I quit:

I exercised at least an hour per day in various forms, often more; I always did between 15 minutes and 2 hours of masseur-appointed back exercises;

2 stand-up slots, people!

I woke up happy every morning and made my bed (embarrassing a confession, but with depressive tendencies that can be a feat)

kept up swimming, once a week;

I organised a team for my dream street-act to dance on the streets (currently we heard from a drummer who wants to join, that’d be so cool).

I got myself invited to audition for Vagina Monologues in Brighton, which. omg.

This all happened in a week.

It’s just, today I backslid a little, and I’m in a bit of pain. That’s to be expected. If you want muscles, pain will happen;┬áif you want to keep your head high and back straight, you’re changing habits of a life time.

I’ll keep at it. I found my path, and I’m learning how to walk again.

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