Internet Addict?

Sent all your emails, checked your facebook, tweeted something funny and watched that sick video on Sabotage? Then you might get round to getting out of bed.
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You know you see that spinning rainbow disc on a Mac screen when it’s struggling to keep up? I have become that disc in human form.

The busyness of modern life is driving me round the bend. Old media, new media. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, texts, emails… And that’s before catching a bit of TV or radio, if I can find time.

We have created so much to do, so much to choose from, that I’ll start walking in one direction, pre-occupied with the task at hand, only for another task to pop into my mind, and override the initial thought, causing me to stop and turn direction. But as I make my way there I’ll stop again, as another task jumps the queue, screaming out to be done. To observe me, I look like a malfunctioning robot, unable to process all the information bombarding my circuit boards. Like I say, I’m Spinning Disc Man.

And we’re starting to communicate like robots too, with our text abbreviations and our must-be-140-characters-or-less ‘Tweets’, all url shorteners, @ signs and RTs (that’s ‘Re-Tweet’ for the uninitiated).

We are being asked to assimilate such an insane amount of information, there just aren’t enough hours. I think human kind is getting towards its limit. Soon, we’ll need to be opened up and further RAM be installed to cope with the demands being put on us. It has already gone too far. Forget actual work, my day dissolves like an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of Net-based needlessness – Facebook-ing, getting caught in a YouTube loop, emailing an Internet company requesting a password reminder – only for me to forget it again, within a nanosecond of resetting it – getting into needless spats on assorted forum sites with invisible strangers, comparing car insurance quotes… Right, that's lunch.

We don’t discourse on a personal level any more. We don’t have the time, or the wherewithal. Even typing out a quick email to a close friend has become too arduous. It is now the last thing I do each day, if I can summon the energy, at around midnight, just before going to bed. What is happening to us? Have we become so self-absorbed, so inward-looking, so isolated, so busy, that even friends are becoming obsolete? What chance do relationships have if this is the future of western civilisation?

"Forget actual work, my day dissolves like an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of Net-based needlessness."

It would be easier to shun it all. Become an analogue antiquity because if you try to join in, you are left struggling to keep up, as the new media age quickens away from you like Usain Bolt. I swear it won’t be long before I have to take my laptop to the crapper with me, just to try and stay on top of everything while keeping everyone abreast of my latest movements. Bowel movements that is. Google Alert! Google Alert! Rob has just taken a dump.

But hey, let’s share all this with the world at large via Twitter. Another task we have created for ourselves. But doesn’t this itself expose a certain loneliness; a spiritual void? When your life is preoccupied with reporting life to strangers, aren’t you completing the circle marked ‘exercise in futility’?

We no longer want to live quietly and humbly in anonymity, we want to live a sexy, reported life in public, and command an audience. We are copying the reality stars and tabloid fodder we have been force fed for the last decade, and it’s so out of whack it’s not funny.

More time is being spent creating the spangly facade than actually living any sort of life behind it. Unsurprisingly, Twitter has become the latest media outlet to be hijacked by exposure-seeking celebs. They have infiltrated it like an aggressive form of cancer.

Sorry, I have to cut this short as an icon tells me an email has just popped into my in-box. And someone has poked me on Facebook. And I must see if anyone's replied to my thread response on the best way forward for the Argentina football team. And I need to forward that funny YouTube clip of the twat on the waterslide. And the fridge is bare. And I've got 30-hours of unwatched SkyPlus tv to get through. And a 2,000-word feature to write. And I’ve not even ‘Tweeted’ yet today. And… it’s relentless. And now I don’t know what to do next.

You see, Spinning Disc Man.

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