I was just settling in to my all-too-frequent habit of lounging on the internet when I had a stark realization that shocked me out of complacency. Naturally, I immediately jumped over to my blog to share this information. My stark realization was this: the internet wastes your time.
Let's start at the beginning: the internet-lounging. You know what I'm talking about - when you go online* because you think to yourself, "Self, I've got some free time and can't think of what to do with it. I don't want to go to bed because it's only 9:20 (even though my roommates are already in bed which is kind of insanely early, but they're weird like that) but it's too late to walk down to the store to buy ice cream even though it's my turn. Hmmm... I guess I'll see if anyone's messaged me on facebook! I'll only go on for a few minutes though, until I think of something else to do..."
If you are unsure of what I'm referring to, it's probably because you've already been online for too long and can't quite feel your extremities anymore. Or you are still convincing yourself that the internet is helping you have a more productive, fun, and informed life. These are lies. If it helps, compare the internet to what TV was as a kid. Fun at first, and then 5 hours later you would barely be able to lift your head from the couch to shovel more toast into your mouth (toast because your mom doesn't buy junk food for snacking on in the house - but is eating 4 pieces of toast in one sitting really better?)
Okay, so back on track. You've just had the thoughts written in italics above. This is the beginning of a long and boring journey through the internet. One that never adds productivity, fun, or useful information to your life. Here's what happens:
1. You check facebook first (just to get it out of the way before you move on to better things) and maybe you have a few messages, maybe you don't.
2. You respond to any you have or read them but don't answer them right away so that you look busy and cool.
3. You scroll through the newsfeed a little and maybe comment on a thing or two. Then you look at the profile of someone you went to high school with and haven't spoken with for 8 years (read: since graduation or maybe a little before but you added each other on facebook when it was new and exciting to think about "catching up" with "old friends" again) for something like 10 minutes.
4. You shake yourself and decide to stop wasting time and move on with your life.
5. So you check your email.
6. You don't have any emails because you checked two hour ago before you left work and no one really communicates by email anymore unless it's work related and it's 9:25pm by now.
7. You go back to facebook, just for a quick second.
8. You visit some blogs or webcomics you like to read. They haven't updated since this afternoon when you were killing time at work.
9. You peruse old posts on the blogs and webcomics anyways.
10. You go back to faecebook, just to see if anyone commented on your comment you left on someone else's status update.
11. They haven't. You refresh a couple times to see if they have in the meantime.
12. You realize that you are just as (if not more) pathetic as the stereotypical "girl waiting beside the phone" who picks up the phone periodically to see if it's still working then panics that someone tried to call just then, then checks her answering machine (because this scenario can only exist, at most recent, the early 90's when land lines, busy signals, and answering machines were a part of every day living) to see if somehow the call went straight there, then panics again that she's tying up the line and hangs up only to start again 5 minutes later.
13. You realize this but you do nothing about it because now you've been sucked into the soulless void of the internet where nothing truly lives except for maybe zombie dementors.
14. You give up on trying to think and stare at the same screens as your life passes you by.
15. Before you realize it, it's 1am and your whole night is gone. You haven't accomplished anything, and now you won't get enough sleep and will be tired all day at work tomorrow, which means you won't have the energy to actually accomplish anything tomorrow either, but instead will quietly obey simple commands as you trudge through your day.
16. You are now ready to join the army. Which army, I don't know. But an army for sure.
*Does anyone else feel really weird about terms like "go online" nowadays? It sounds so archaic, like I just finished dialing into my modem, or like I just asked if you even have the internet in the first place. It's like everything is always online now so it's just silly to make a point of saying it. Right?