Addicted to a waste of life.

[I’ll get the update crap out of the way quick. At the outset of November, I was hoping to achieve a revision of a work-in-progress, but I quickly realized that it would necessitate a change from third-person perspective to first. While a big project, I wasn’t daunted or disappointed–it’s just big. I made a lot of progress. But life, as it always does, got in the way. Retail is very demanding this time of year. No mercy. And I’m not very good at goal-setting without external deadlines. This is possibly part of the reason why I am nowhere in life. However, the work-in-progress situation is not hopeless so I should resume soon.]

Alright, now my actual topic–Internet addiction.

On Black Friday I had to be at work at 5am, which meant getting up at 3:30am. Now, I don’t fall asleep until 1:30am on any given night anyway (this post explains why). I went to bed relatively early and yet, after I turned off the light, I was compelled to scroll on my phone for at least a half an hour. Even on one freaking night of the year, I can’t just put it down and go to sleep. I functioned amazingly the whole day, but it all caught up to me on Saturday and I could barely stay awake.

I’ve been addicted to going online for a little over twenty years (by the way, it is terrifying to hit an age at which you can clearly remember twenty years ago), but it has accelerated greatly since I got a smartphone, which was maybe two years ago. People used to laugh at me and my cheap go-phone, the kind you have to press each button fourteen times when you text, as though I were some stubborn Luddite. No, I have two computers and a tablet. The problem is that I knew very well that if I got a phone I’d be Googling every stupid damn thing that popped into my head all day on that too. At first I didn’t buy a data plan so that I couldn’t use it outside of Wi-Fi areas, but that eventually went out the window. So now I can go online any time, any place my phone has service and I need to know why my pinky toenail is small.

My YouTube bingeing habit began a few years ago when my pet died and I started watching YouTube videos all day long to distract myself. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, until I thought about it later on. By then it had turned into a chronic habit.

I am also addicted to talking to people online. As soon as I started going online (we got our first computer when my sister started college), like everyone else, I used chatrooms and instant messenger to talk to strangers. It’s a miracle I’m even alive today (well, I guess that depends on your perspective…). A lot of it was excitement and novelty, but I was also going through a lot of crap and alienating real-life friends, so all I had were online ones.

Nowadays, it’s a voluntary preference. I’m embarrassed to bother people and I panic when people call/text me in real life, so blogging is easier. I can just put it all out there and let other people decide if they want to say anything and to do it on our own timelines. And it doesn’t hurt as much when they gradually stop talking to you because you can rationalize, well, we’ve never really met after all, so it can’t be that there’s something wrong with me mumble mumble mumble. There’s divided opinion on online friends, some say they’re not real, others say they are; I happen to believe you can make real friends online.

My worst, most shameful habit–Reddit. I hid the app so there’re extra steps to access it on my phone but I still go to it. I don’t think there’s a dumber place on the Internet than Reddit. Well, there are probably technically worse places, but it definitely ranks up there. The hive mind there is incredible. And you can’t even properly troll people (troll=disagree with the hive) so what the hell’s the point? I try not to do it on WordPress, though sometimes I just can’t resist a hit-and-run. I try to stick to YouTube but getting banned is highly inconvenient, so I’ve toned it down a lot.

I wish I could remember what life was like before I could go online any time. Going home from school meant being cut off from most of the world except a friend or two. When I was in middle school and high school, I was limited in how often I could go online because it occupied the landline, so I had to be real sneaky about it. But I wasn’t so dependent on the Internet as I am now. My default entertainment was books, music, and drawing. Television I was sneaky about as well because I don’t like when people know what I watch.

I think I was more creative when I had to resort to solitary pursuits. I can detect a clear correlation between excessive YouTube and Reddit usage and abysmal creative output. I feel real disgust with myself when I’m binge-watching something as though I were doing something immoral. I suppose wasting your life this way is, in fact, immoral. It’s just that I get this “fear of missing out” that if I don’t scroll, scroll, scroll, I’ll miss some important news. And then I lie to myself and say, see, I must be online so I know what’s going on in the world. But really, I’m no better informed spending a hundred hours a week online than none. Am I smarter? Healthier? Fitter? A better writer? Less crazy? More independent? No, no, no, no, no, and no.

I was better off in terms of style/creativity when I was left alone in my own crazy head. Sometimes I want to just ditch the epilepsy meds and untether myself from mundane reality and float away back to my inner world where strange colors burst with meaning. The rush of emotion when nostalgia explodes in your stomach is like no other. I’d quit the meds cold turkey, seizures be damned, if I knew I could feel that again. I can only imagine what it’s like for people with stronger cases of temporal lobe epilepsy than my pitiful case. There was no one to share those feelings with so I had to write them or draw them as they bounced off each other in my psyche, gaining momentum, and even writing or drawing was no real release because I was only communicating with myself, over, and over, and over, but it was a satisfying lack of satisfaction.

At the very least, I could improve the situation tenfold simply by reducing my Internet usage and allow my thoughts to talk to each in original conversation, rather than fill my head with garbage from a subreddit.

[I’d be remiss not to mention WordPress. It’s important to me to keep up with other bloggers and right now I’m falling behind because of work and wasting my time as described in this post. I’m so lucky for all the people I’ve met and I can only count the “blogosphere” as a blessing and not a waste of time at all. I would never have written as much as I have in the past couple years if it weren’t for WordPress. So it’s not you guys I’m talking about. Communicating with you is not a waste of my time; rather, I value it very much.]


77 thoughts on “Addicted to a waste of life.

  1. I recently discovered Reddit during my recent hiatus from blogging…(A correlation between my absence of blogging and my spending time on Reddit?) Anyway, it’s not a waste of time at all as there’s not a day that goes by without something on that stupid site that has me laughing so hard I’m in tears! Although I am just figuring out that most of the humor is of the pee-pee ca-ca variety, or human genitalia in some odd, public position…
    Anyway, here’s a subreddit you’ll dig if you haven’t discovered it already, since you hate retail: r/antiwork
    I find WordPress brainer, Reddit funnier. Depends upon what you need that day…but the year is coming to an end and I’m returning to my “story…”
    FWIW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No! George, smh, what are you doing? It’s poison to your story. And that antiwork subreddit is just the sort I waste my time on. The laughs are just like empty calories though. But you see it for yourself now–less blogging, more Reddit….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not a waste of life as I have been pondering lately what that even means. What is NOT a waste of life? You worker harder? Write more? Make more money? Define the opposite of a “waste of life.” You did what…accomplished what…went where?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That makes sense. If you have defined a purpose for your life, and your life is not being used for that purpose, that’s a waste. I should add, this is assuming you have the freedom and ability to reach the purpose if you tried. In some cases we may have perfect intentions but are externally blocked in one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes indeed, exactly.

          When people who had great aspirations are killed unexpectedly, that’s also described as especially a waste in terms of loss to others too. But it’s not to say that a life is more valuable than another. It’s more just if the person had some great altruistic purpose. Though your purpose doesn’t have to be altruistic if it is a valid purpose to you.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree 100%. We may not know why we suffer but if we have the opportunity and the means–we can redeem it by using it for the greater good. And it’s enough if it’s the good of a single person (even ourselves, perhaps).

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    1. I think something wastes life if you’re truly unhappy with what you’re doing with it. If there’s things you’d rather be doing, that you know are better for you, and you’re not doing them, then you’re wasting life. Purpose, accomplishment, these words have different shades of meaning. For now I’m just sticking to the idea that time is very finite, and if you’re not using it the way you want, you’re wasting it.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. There’s nothing easier than to lie on the Internet, and nothing easier than to be honest. I think it’s because you can cut through all the small-talk and buildup you need in an offline friendship or relationship. You can just come right out of the gate with your ugliest secrets.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And this is why I actually decided to review anime and books. Because that way, I don’t feel bad for enjoying that stuff.

    reddit is kind of necessary for me, since I follow programming related subreddits. Don’t get me wrong, things do get ugly there too. But there’s no other place where people share their experiences of programming so much.

    As for not losing myself in the scrolling? Well according to one cousin of mine, I have a terrifying will. I do what I want to, no matter what my brain demands. This is why I have successfully been learning Japanese on duolingo for the last (Almost) two years.

    But having said that, please don’t feel bad. You already tried to cheer me up once or twice. I think it is my turn. If you think about it too much, you’ll spiral down to the loathing hell…

    Hope it makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I had a “terrifying will”! I’d even settle for a mildly scary will of my own. The way for me to not spiral down is to resolve to do something about it. I spent my day reading and resisted most urges to scroll. Any really dumb time-suck websites I clicked not to recommend again. Sometimes you get so disgusted with yourself that it becomes easier to make a change. Nice work on learning Japanese and not giving up.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never been on Reddit and I rarely YouTube as I’m always so busy, but I do think you’re being a bit hard on yourself. We are all a bit obsessive. Take today, I got up at 3.15am and went for my walk as I knew I would be busy after work editing. That isn’t normal behaviour but I don’t beat myself up about it. You need to let yourself be yourself and if that means bingeing, so be it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 3:15AM?????!!! For a walk?? What the heck? You must 1. be a morning person, and 2. live in a safe neighborhood πŸ˜‚. I don’t want to binge though, I don’t want that to be who I am. But I also don’t want to be someone who gets up at 3:15am. Maybe 9am.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Same! I’ve wasted soooo much time on mindless browsing these past few years, and I’ve also noticed a drop in my creative pursuits, mainly because my mind requires quiet before I’m able to create. All that input does kill the creativity though, and there are no benefits to gain either. Let’s drop this crap together!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LMAO I completely agree with everything you said about Reddit. You are right, you cannot even troll people because they are that rigid πŸ˜‚. Everything is taken so literally. And what humour IS ‘acceptable’ or standard there is exactly as George described itβ€” pure toilet humour. It’s worse than toilet humour because there’s so much enthusiasm and belief and sycophancy in it.

    When I said that time that Reddit is the dumbest place on the internet I was aware of what I was saying and thought I was jumping the gun as I’d only just started looking at it, however ever since then I’ve realised how accurate that was. It’s like Richard Hammond vs Jeremy Clarkson in Top Gear. Who’s more embarrassing? Richard Hammond is because Jeremy is either an expert troll or just ignorant, whereas Hammond just laughs along at his embarrassing jokes and has no spine. The people on reddit are spineless ‘adult kids’ playing at being ‘adults’ and ‘headmasters’. They even use identical syntax in their comments! It’s a pure cult, whereas Twitter has no coordination, it’s just chaos with no leader nor religion.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Years ago I was the mod for a forum. Several forums. So, for the Reddit nonsense, getting banned, blah blah, arguing with anyone on the internet makes you both retards. I also maintained farcebook pages for several instrument manufacturers. It was no better than wasting time playing Mah Jong or solitaire back in the Win 95 days. Do something, do nothing, your call, your life. But all this hanging out` of personal laundry looking for “friends” is what’s wrong with the internet. Like Murrow said “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it’s nothing but wires and lights in a box.”
    God, I’m so depressed. I think I’ll go buy a little black dress and head to Paris on daddy’s money. Be sure to click the like and follow buttons so I don’t jump off this bridge and ruin my Kate Spade purse. Luv ya!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It wasn’t reddit. It was musicians through what at the time was the leading shelf/online publication for its subset. And there were still zealous retards with hard line opinions about unimportant shit. I got out of that world when I got banned from a manufacturer’s forum (one I was doing marketing for) for asking a question.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Totally addictive. That’s why I leave my phone in the kitchen at night and rely on a different alarm clock. That’s why I can’t join anything else . . . no FB, Twitter, IG, Reddit, etc., for me. I have a blog; that’s enough. I visit YT, too, but I very often click “don’t show me this channel again” when a channel is too enticing but ultimately unfulfilling. Totally addictive, ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We all suffer the scrolling problem especially now that phones are so easily accessible and can do everything. Instagram is my worst habit.

    I started to track my screen time to help me calm down.

    I try not do more than 1 hour in total a day. Success is hit n miss.

    WordPress. Yes it is an addiction.. but a good one.

    As for goals. Remember smart goals.. t for Time bound. Aka a deadline a pressure. It is a good way to get somewhere with goals.

    I know you can do it. You have more discipline than me I can see that

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Am glad you value our conversations because I do too. My waste of life and time is mobile games. Give me anything with “scapes” added and I am away with the online fairies. Well, dragons currently. 😁. I am sorry you have to deal with epilepsy. In my teens I had a couple of fits but seemed to have grown out of it without meds. But I don’t wish a fit on anyone. I hope you’ll survive the Christmas shopping madness. To me in the holiday season shop assistants are my heroes much more than nurses or doctors (Sorry docs and nurses I really appreciate you but I worked in retail…). Happy Friday despite everything 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bee. I haven’t really played many mobile games lately because I’m so occupied with the other crap. I get addicted easily though. I think that’s done by design. Regarding epilepsy–I know that it’s not uncommon for kids to have episodes in childhood and grow out of them. I am glad you know the retail perspective very well! You know that the struggle is real.

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  11. I figure when something becomes more important that catching up on the latest submission by my go-to youtubers then I’ll do that instead. I have little faith that such a thing WILL become more important, that nagging Nihilistic voice won’t shut the fuck up. But, you never know. Maybe psychedelic mushrooms would crack open some new thought-dimension.
    You believe in a god, right? Doesn’t that provide some foundational basis for personal achievement? Bettering your slot in the Kingdom? Helping others achieve their better slot? It’s all self-delusion to me, but maybe for you…?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look at this, Mole being my conscience. That’s part of what irritates me, that I should be spending my time less selfishly (hell I’d be better off staying selfish but actually productive than what I’m doing now). That’s not to say I do nothing, though, I just tend not to write about it. I think good deeds should be done and promptly forgotten. I’m gonna make sure you get a good slot, Moley. All I know is life is too short to watch YouTube every day (I’m saying this while a three-hour livestream is playing in the background).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By all means — watch youtube, or rather listen to it with the fireplace loop play. Or a nice island shore loop. There are tons of loop videos, including world webcams too that cycle through. You can tune them out while you write.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I think I prefer blogging (was blogger.com, now WordPress,) since I can read/write on my own schedule, at my convenience, or on a whim. Texting for most people sort of demands a timely response, which I find kind of annoying. The people I text with regularly treat it like email, as I do–throw some comment out there, get a response, or don’t, then or later. No harm, no foul.
    Otherwise, I find the whole Internet thing too distracting, and it interferes with anything I might be doing that requires focus. If you weren’t ADD going into the Internet era, you’re definitely going out with it. IMHO, I hasten to add.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look at Roy! He’s on WordPress! What gives? I do enjoy blogging the most. I think I spend more time on other people than myself though, so I could probably improve how much time I spend writing. I hate long texting conversations but I like the fact I can say/ask a quick thing and move on and the other people can answer me on their own time, rather than putting them on the spot in that moment with a phone call, especially during the workday. Internet is beyond distracting for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This resonates so hard. I developed different online bad habits like hate-reading certain websites that I hate, but the result was just as toxic.
    I’d like to think that blogging is productive, because it involves writing things and building relationships, but if I’m honest, the impact to my schedule and time management is just as bad if not worse. It it hard to be honest with myself on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes I am a big hate-reader. Especially of comment sections. Sometimes I won’t even read an article or watch a video if there are no comments. Talk about wasting time. I too think blogging is a better use of time for the same reasons so I don’t count it as part of my Internet time. But my time management is poor as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I turned off comments so people didn’t feel compelled to be polite. I figured if they wanted to say something, they’d find a way. It’s about a divide between friends who really aren’t even friends…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dare I suggest that, just maybe, your blog friends may have commented on your poem, not out of politeness or obligation, but because they genuinely liked it?

        I hear you on the friend divide concept. I feel that way about my birthday, in the sense that I don’t post my birthday on Facebook so the limited few friends who know it have to remember it without the help of Facebook and send me a text – a good way of separating out one kind of friend from another.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay, I just discovered Reditt THIS YEAR and thought it was the most hilarious thing ever…but yeah, over the pee-pee poo-poo ca-ca humor now. It’s also tainting my POV, so enuf. Glad the comments here provide me with confirmation bias on this issue. So, back to the blog and maybe I’ll do some stand-up. Yes. Stand up. Been awhile but I’ll find a stage…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There you go. I started going on Reddit last year to go on medical forums and get people’s opinions on whether I am dying of cancer or not. No one agreed that I am dying, which pissed me off. The only legitimate one I read is the epilepsy one but that’s about it. Other ones I just mindlessly scroll through just to irritate myself. Since I made this post, my Reddit usage has dropped a lot. Let’s face it, it’s not helping us, it’s only making us dumber.

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