In my work blog, Salted Hash, I predict that a threatened “Operation Global Blackout” attack on the Internet by hacking group Anonymous won’t happen for a variety of reasons. But truthfully, such a thing might do me some good.
In my vicious battle to live in the moment and be present for those around me, the Internet has become my arch-enemy.
On one hand, I need the Internet and require it’s presence to do my job, which is almost exclusively based online. I like being able to reconnect with friends there and keep tabs on distant family members. I like being able to access my music there.
But I have three problems that has made this a poisonous relationship:
–I have an addictive personality. With my cigarettes, cigars, booze and junk food gone, the Internet has become a crutch that is stitched to my hip. A normal amount of usage is not even close to enough. Ever.
–I have clinical OCD, which means that it’s hard to take my eyes off something online, whether it’s a favorite website, a work project that has my full obsessive attention or a Facebook chat message that won’t stop flashing at me.
–I have a touch of clinical ADD, which means that when I can’t focus on what’s happening in front of me, I stare blankly at the laptop screen, captivated by its warm glow.
Like any powerful nemesis, the Internet always seems to come close to destroying my life. I’m really starting to hate this sucker and fantasize about wanting it dead.
That’s one of the reasons this Operation Global Blackout thing appeals to me. If I can’t escape from the Internet, maybe killing the fucker is an acceptable option.
Consider the cumulative effect on me: I get so sucked into Facebook and Twitter that it’s easy for the observer to think I’ve built a secret second life there. Maybe I have, though not intentionally. Meanwhile, as a writer, I’m increasingly paranoid that in an act of copy-and-paste sloppiness, I’ll inadvertently commit plagiarism someday.
It’s turning me into an angry man. I don’t like being owned my anger.
But I’m also a realist.
As I said in the Salted Hash post, Operation Global Blackout ain’t gonna happen. Even if it did, it would be short lived.
And in the final analysis, I can’t remove the internet from my life. I don’t think anyone can at this point.
And so this is like everything else in my journey to wellness and being a better human being: I have to work at knowing when to look away and shut the machine, especially when someone is talking to me.
Truth be told, the thought of it makes my head hurt. But that’s life.
An addiction to crack or heroin would still be a lot worse, so I’ll go count my Blessings again.