Monday, January 5, 2009

My name is Steven, and I’m addicted to the internet

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.

8 comments:

Je®emy said...

my resolution is to comment on your blog - because i feel your pain. happy new year and keep up the good bloggin.

Brett said...

If anyone has ever seen my facebook profile, my resolutions may not seem new but I plan to take special action this year. First and foremost, I plan to take the new Florida Powerball situation quite seriously. I have brewed up some serious algorithms that seemingly cannot fail based on extrapolated data from recent years or quick pick. The second deals with trophy wives. After learning not ten minutes ago that Jennifer Love Hewitt has broken up with her fiance, I see an in. I can't see how a 28 year-old optometry student from, as my aunt puts it, Dazie, FL could possibly fall through the cracks. Last but not least, exercise. No resolution list would be complete without it. I'm not talking about twelve ounce curls rather the real stuff like running, upwards of 1 mile if I start feeling frisky. Good luck to you and yours.

CAN said...

Haha, while I hate to leave a post, which basically is enabling your Internet addiction by creating something to check, I'll do it anyway just cause the post was great. New Year's resolutions...let's go for broke and say eat more, work out less ;) Nah, I'm committed to doing what makes me feel good deep down, like going hiking and stuff. You have to feed the engine that is you with fuel that is you. When I was in Spain for the ten days I think I checked email twice. It was awesome, you feel so alive when you actually get out and do stuff, we know this but it def takes a concerted effort to extricate yourself from the vortex of routine :)

stephanie said...

Well, i don't have a new year's resolution yet... but please do give a few ideas!

Carl said...

Dear Stephanie,

I'm not sure if I know you, and your profile is listed as private, so I don't have much to work with.

If you'd like one to be more personalized, let me know if I know you.

However, resolutions are easy. Pick one of the following.

1. volunteer at a homeless shelter, and befriend someone who appears lonely. Eat a meal with them once a week, and eventually introduce them to your father, who is the manager at the used car lot down the street. Get your father to get him a job washing the cars.

2. Drive less than 100 miles a week. Rely on mass transit, and start a carpool with your friend Tammy. She doesn't have many friends, and even though she insists on listening to the Gospel radio station, she is really down to party.

3. Smile less. You know how when you're trying not to smile, it makes you want to smile more. Well use this fact to your advantage. Just because you aren't showing, doesn't mean you don't get the same feeling on the inside. Just hold it in.

Is this enough?

Ike & Jane said...

So, I definitely don't check my email or facebook more than... I don't know, 50 times a day (eek) but I definitely do check your blog whenever you post about it on the devil ocean that is Facebook. I'm pretty sure I've neither seen you nor spoken to you since the last day of school some 2 years ago. But all the same, your escapades are hilarious.

[Fanfare] My resolution is to not work 80 hours/week. Oh, and stop listening to audio books, cause they make you a weird batty ol' lady.

Thanks for making me laugh out loud at my computer screen when I'm in large crowds. Cause that's not awkward.

I'll think about commenting more often. Maybe give you something to ACTUALLY check in that email.

Corie.

the knock said...

Wow, I just typed and typed only to find that I was logged in as the owner of this blog. How disheartening. At any rate I have come up with my New Year's resolution and it is thus: to use proper capitalization and punctuation in all written forms of communication, not just formal essays, articles, and exams. This would rightly include digital communication which is where I find that I have the most problems. Grammar (though inexplicably tied to punctuation) and spelling are not to be commented on but if you find me not capitalizing the beginning of my sentence or not using an apostrophe with aren't then please remind me of this resolution. It's not that I'd rather lead a formal life but that it seems sloppy and lazy to not do it, not to mention the increased typing speed and mindfulness of my actions. Thank you in advance for your help.

Carl said...

I will be vigilent in enforcing and supporting these noble resolution.

Thanks to Jeremy, Brett, CAN, Ike, and The Knock. You're participation has brightened my life.