Why do I feel so bad when I’m online?

The blog has been on a hiatus for a long time. Once in a while I would have a look at the stats and feel bad about not updating it, but not bad enough to guilt me into writing again. In the meantime, I’ve been back on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They have fulfilled my need for attention very well, but something has been missing. This blog and the many others I read when I was blogging more were virtual spaces where I could gather my thoughts and put in order all the digital effluvia we all have to deal with every day. Recently, I’ve really felt at a loss with all of it and thought it best to return to blogging.

Today, I found myself saying out loud: “I’m terribly unhappy with the Internet!” Not quite shouting, but loudly enough to startle myself. Why do I feel like this? I think I have all the boring symptoms of a social media addict and I’m online virtually all the time. Everyone is. But most people I know seem to cope very well. They have no problem with it. I feel I do. You can google why this might be the case. There is a lot of talk about the subject. Basically, it’s about altering your brain chemistry via technology. It’s a proper addiction. I should know: I’ve had a few of them before. I’ve beat a few before as well. Or at least they are in remission, however you want to look at it. Anyway, how do you beat addictions?

It varies, but I think substituting unwanted habits with new ones seems to work out fine. The clever readers will think: “Isn’t blogging an old habit you are taking up again?” The even cleverer ones will ask: “Does this not lead to a never-ending cycle of habits?” I would answer yes to both questions. Blogging was never a problem for me (at least I don’t remember it being so), but rather a pleasant and meditative activity. With other social media, I find myself staring at the screen for who knows how long and forgetting what I was supposed to be doing. It destroys attention. That’s the best way I can put it. Not attention span or ability to focus or anything like that. You can focus for hours on social media  junk, that’s the problem. It does something to the mechanism that allows you to focus on whatever you want to focus on. It messes with whatever in your mind allows you to focus on a certain thing. I’m guessing this is a higher mechanism of awareness than just focusing on something in front of you.

As for the other question, I can only answer that there are habits and then there are habits. I brush my teeth, go to work, go to the gym, etc. Many of my habits are good for me. They have been either taught to me or I have acquired them myself. Our upbringing has a great influence on these and as we get older we have to decide for ourselves how we want to spend our limited time on this planet. Writing is rarely a waste of time. I just came up with something I had trouble explaining earlier while writing this post. I would have not thought through all that stuff about attention and awareness had I not started typing a few minutes ago. It’s a pleasurable thing to come up with something like that. Even more pleasurable than getting likes on your social media account.

See where I’m going with this?

In any case, I hope I can get back in the habit of blogging more. The blog will continue to reflect my interests and I have no intention of making it a blog that is dedicated to a specific topic any time soon. It’s more fun to write that way.

Thanks if you read this far and do come back again sometime!

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