web log

I’m obsessed this week with the multitude of ways the internet is making us weird. The FDA won’t approve drugs until they know the long term effects. I don’t think it is possible to know the long term effects of spending hours each day connected to the www. It scares me.

The things I did on the internet this week:

  • Read too much news
  • Submitted my manuscript
  • Looked at every image of Amelia Earhart, and then PJ Harvey available
  • Watched live webcame footage of Oakland
  • Looked at PhD programs
  • Read page after page of fiction submissions and voted on them
  • Read stories about heartbreak
  • Read stories about drugs
  • Read stories about circus shows and musical prodigies
  • Planned meetings
  • Listened to music
  • Looked for summer roommates
  • Posted pictures of my dog
  • Researched linguistics
  • Researched how to care for my new plants
  • Tried to keep in touch
  • Bought dog food
  • Watched the United States of Tara and got sad
  • Argued
  • Read personal things written by people I’ve never met
  • Used the dictionary, used the thesaurus, used the dictionary, used the dictionary
  • Paid my student loan
  • Looked at commercial art
  • Told people how I felt about things
  • Read about how other people feel about things and got sad
  • Overshared
  • Watched movie trailers
  • Looked up the html code for these bullet points

So many things, and that is not an exhaustive or entirely honest list. I am not a constantly connected person. I love to get away from my desk, and celebrate the nights I don’t have to open my laptop. Often though, I feel like the internet has gotten to me. Today I swam in a new pool, a huge pool, and I felt so insulated. Under my swim cap and behind my foggy goggles, I felt like I could reconnect with me and wipe out all the digital nonsense I expose myself to daily.

The internet is endless entertainment, it informs and connects, but it makes me anxious, it short circuits my brain, it turns my world into someplace small and confining where nothing is new, nothing is genuine. It takes away the magic of original thought, experience, and memory like a sparkly super-quick mimeograph. It allows us to know things we are better off not knowing and be known in ways that maybe we shouldn’t. But I must admit, I’m noisy. I’m voyeuristic. I love the private made public, and the increasingly complex shades of grey between the two. Web really is such an appropriate name for the many ways this thing entangles us.

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