Curse you, Al, and your magical time-traveling Internets! Because of you I can’t concentrate for more than three minutes! If it doesn’t have a button, I can’t work it! I’m trying to multi-task my relationships in multiple windows like I do on instant messenger. Bling! Ding! Bing!
That’s not cool, Al!
Look at how I’ve suffered… *cue sympathy music, preferably viola with a slight cello undertone*
Thanks to sites like Amazon.com and my local library’s online reservation system, I don’t have to make do with a limited collection of reading materials. I can order, request, reserve, review, search inside, search outside, find recommendations and reviews, see what my friends like, find the word count, the pub date, the dimensions, the cover, statistically improbably phrases… on any book I want, and some that I don’t. I’m also cursed with that disorder where you can’t put a book down once you’ve started, no matter how boring or terrible it is. Put the two together and what do you get?
I have problems, Al! Problems!
Facebook Anxiety Disorder (FAD)
Since I’m part vampire, I’m like the only one still awake right now on Facebook. All of my so-called “friends” have either gone to sleep or gave up in favor of some other duty; feeding children, perhaps. So here I sit, like a chump, waiting for my Scrabble friends to take their turns, waiting for my level 3 vampire avatar to recharge so I can fight my vampire friends again (I used all my attacks today), waiting for the coveted “Inbox (1)” to light up, waiting for the news feed of what all of my online pals are doing right-now-this-second, updating pictures or writing messages or eating leftovers, now now now now now. Argh!
Friends & Family (Offline)
No – don’t call me. I’ve forgotten how to speak with my mouth. I only speak with my fingers. See? And since I write like one of Tolkein’s Ents, I “do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.” Texting? Fughettaboutit. If I’m sending you a one- or two-line message, it’s either part of a much longer conversation, or I’m just mad at you.
(A quiz: Who might be up for a one-liner text from me tonight… not mentioning names, but his may or may not rhyme with Male Whore?)
Whaa? I’ve been typing online for so long that when I try to hand write something, I inevitably hand draw a sideways smiley-face. No, seriously. I’ve also wasted hours of my life searching for the elusive CTRL+Z on my paper spiral journal. Al, this is so not normal!
Curiosity Killed The Huh?
In the eighties, if I wanted to learn something new and exciting about, say, mummies (yay! I heart them!), I’d have to go all the way to the library and look up MUMMY or MUMMIES or MUMMIFICATION or MUMMYLICIOUS in the card catalogue. Then I’d have to write down the call numbers, march over to the shelf, hope that the books were properly shelved, not too water damaged, check them out, and read through everything in ten days. Not so, anymore. It wouldn’t be so bad if I only had this unnatural obsession for mummies (yay!) but I’m also wondering about such things as Salem Witch Trials, Mt. Everest, natural remedies, fairies, time travel, Native American history, pyramids, space time, and a good red lentil soup recipe.
Take this afternoon, for example. I needed to look up the definition of a single particular Tarot card for a scene I’m writing. A ten minute task at most.
Three hours later, I’d read through a million card definitions, seen a million pictures of cards, read about Greek, French, and Romanian origins, and installed a daily Tarot application in Facebook. Which then linked me to numerology (life path is 1), horoscope (Virgo, *blowing kisses*!), and Chinese astrology (wood rabbit, yo!).
And that, your Honor, is precisely how an innocent search for a red lentil soup recipe ended three days, four pots of coffee, and a carton of Hostess Ding-Dongs later in the online image gallery for the National Association of Nude Octogenarian Sea Snorkelers, eyes glazed, stomach lining on fire, utterly failed.
Failed, Al! Are you happy now, with your fancy webs of world wide wonder? Oh, look, shiny…