I was sitting at brunch with a good friend yesterday, enjoying my cilantro corn pancakes, discussing what to me has become an absurd search for the ideal significant other, when I realized I don't have a New Year's resolution.
We talked through a couple of ideas – drink less when binge drinking, exercise at least five times a week, eat fewer cookies, spend more time painting, writing and reading. With food completed and conversation topics exhausted, we split the bill and I headed home.
I was driving back to my place satisfied physically, but mentally something remained unsettled.
I had a couple hours to kill before I had planned on meeting up with some friends to watch football. When I walked through the door, like usual, I headed directly to my computer.
I went through my typical internet routine:
• Check email.
• Look at Facebook.
• Open my blog to check for any comments (there rarely are … thanks readers).
• Check headlines on espn.com, nytimes.com, and ajc.com.
No emails, no ex’s or girls of interest changed relationship status, nothing happening on my blog, the news is heavy and I’m not up to tackling the latest in Israel.
Completely free time is rare, so I decided to attempt to sit in my cliché ultra-modern, highly uncomfortable chair from Target and read my book. I made it approximately three pages, at the blazing speed of a page every four minutes, and had an undeniable urge.
Something was happening on the internet … and I needed to know about it.
So I satisfied my impulse. No email, no new pictures of people I barely know, my blog is still featuring the same disappointing post, and the news is still overwhelming.
I chose a new song, and head back to my book. Ten minutes and two pages later, I’m back at the computer.
This is when I realized the absurdity of my internet addiction. I’m checking and rechecking things as if they are of the utmost importance. As if I’m getting a Facebook invite to party of the century that happens to be starting six minutes from now, or an email from the editor of Esquire requesting permission to feature their blog in an upcoming magazine, but I have to respond by 12:17 p.m.
I spend eight hours a day sitting at a computer during work. I probably spend two or three more when I get home, and sadly another two or three anxious about what I’m missing.
My New Year’s resolution this year is to check email and Facebook less than 10 times a day. I can read as much news as I like, but I can’t just click around from site to site looking at headlines.
It might not seem like much, but it’s a start and I need your support.
My pathetic attempt at reader participation:
Please post your resolutions for 2009. If you don’t have any, say so, and I’ll come up with one for you.