Thank you, Internet

ALERT TO THE READER: This is a very sad article, despite of it being a First World problem (lovely term, very PC and all). If you don’t want to get upset with this kind of issue… Tough, you probably are so already.

Hello, my name is Anabel and I am an Internet addict. This has caused me one or two problems. Maybe more. I can’t say for sure, since my ability to keep concentrated has decreased enormously and so I can’t think straight. Still I will try my best, for my therapist told me it could help me.

My lack of concentration has caused me, for instance, more than one discussion with my friends and family, and, of course, with my boyfriend. He has this absurd theory that I don’t listen to him. Yes, I do! True, not for too long, but I do. In fact, what he says is interesting most of the time, therefore I am interested in what he is saying most of the time. Only, not for too long, but that is not my fault…!

In the working context, Internet has also affected me. Whenever I am teaching to my students, they have this problem too. I don’t take it personal, since I understand what they are going through. Still I admit it annoys me, and at some point I always end up yelling at them. Of course this has implications and consequences: we do not like each other. But then I think that that’s life, is it not? We will always find people that we don´t like, and I am doing my part by teaching them now.

On the other hand, when trying to do something useful with my free time, I think of my main hobbies: books, films, series, hiking… Hill walking is OK, I think. Mainly because it is outdoors. But then there is this taking and sending photos everywhere and letting everybody know that I am somewhere lovely. Posing, I think they call it. But is it really posing? Is it!?

Of course reading has become an increasingly difficult passtime to keep, since so many letters one after the other ask of so much of my concentration. It often happens that I read the same phrase over and over again. It often happens that I read the same phrase over and over again. Do you see? I am not the only one with this problem!

And then I think: OK, let’s go for a movie… only I can’t really be bothered because as it happens, they are too long or too not interesting. Two hours of my time is a looong time to dedicate to the same thing. And as it happens again, I never find good movies anymore. Series are apparently a better option, timewise, since the episodes last an average of 45 minutes – a very reasonable amount of time, when we are talking of being told a story (partially). But an episode is never an episode. It often follows another and so on, and the prospect of being in front of the screen for that long is not as appealing as when I was younger.

In any case we are still facing another big problem: what if the thing we end up watching is not as thrilling and gripping and interesting and funny and clever from the very beginning to the very end? Well, this links me to another problem: my phone is always, unmistakably, demanding my attention, and since my brain is not entirely satisfied with what it has in front of it, it will be totally divided between the two screens.

Ah, so sad! And the worst will be that the person I am interacting with in the social media of turn, at some point, will probably complain that I am not paying him or her my total attention. Well, that may be true, but then I want to ask, almost yelling visually with capital letters, whether he or she is truly in the disposition of asking such a question: ARE YOU PAYING COMPLETE ATTENTION TO ME?

And since I do’t think so but it and it doesn’t bother me that much because I know that we all do the same – Come on! Even my mum is keeping an eye on TV when we skype! -, and because I probably love that person and it is not their fault anyway, I will end up making something up like: “I was doing something else, but now I am only talking to you”. It may be true. It may not. In any case you are not to blame, because you mean well, and you have to do what you have to do, to keep peace in your little circle of life. But of course, for how long can you do that when you are virtually unable to focus on something for no longer than 30 minutes?

My therapist says that it doesn’t have to be like that. That if I really try I can go back to focus on one thing and one thing only and do it with all my will and ability. I don’t entirely believe her. Ah, those old days when the multitasking didn’t exist… And the internet is to blame, no doubt!

It is so sad that I almost feel it – sad, I mean – but it will not last long before I find five things to do at a time! In fact, my friend who is sitting beside me with her own laptop is informing me, very happily, that she has found a very useful site where they explain Judith Butler with cats. I did not know that you could do such a thing. I did not know who Judith Butler is. Oh, wait! New discovery: Michel Foucault explained with hypsters. Incredibly I understand these terms and I feel like smiling – she is very pleased herself while says aloud: thank you internet!

Well, thank you, Internet, thank you for ruining my life.

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