While noodling around on the internet earlier this evening it occurred to me how many wonderfully distracting destinations there are. It also occurred to me that they are the reason I rarely read any more.
If not reading and commenting on posts at WordPress, I can invariably be found looking at photos on Instagram, scrolling Facebook and Twitter, watching videos at YouTube, playing chess rather badly against random strangers at chess.com, or a hundred other things.
I need to stop. For my own sanity more than anything. It’s too easy to dig holes in the floor of the internet and sit in them (as noted by Brooke the other day). That’s not to say the friends we make on the internet aren’t real – of course they are – it’s just… it’s all the other stuff. It’s the mindless scrolling of curated highlight reels of other people’s lives. It’s the Facebook timeline, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, and so many other slippery slopes.
When I met up in London last month with Dater Analysis, Back in Stilletos Again, and Autumn’s Inner Thoughts, we got to sit around a table and not only share stories, but also share a little of each other. There’s something about spending time with somebody in the real world that the written word or a filtered photo doesn’t quite convey – the body language, the nervous laughter, leaning across a table to tell a conspiratorial story.
I suppose in some ways instant messaging replicates the real world to an extent – but it’s a poor substitute for holding a hand when unsure, or an unspoken smile in a silent room.
The funny thing ? Despite my misgivings about spending time on the internet, here I am – sitting at the desk in the junk room, in the dark, a glass of red wine between my hands, emptying words into the keyboard – sitting in a freshly dug hole.
Old habits die hard.