Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Computer

I've been thinking seriously about getting rid of my computer, or maybe leaving it at my parents' house for a while once I get the courage up to go back.

I know that sounds strange, considering anyone who reads this blog likely only hears from me through this keyboard, but I'm beginning to recognize the negative affect it's been having on my life.

These last few months the vast majority of my time has been spent on my bed, typing and clicking. It's so easy to lose myself in it, to let my eyes go out of focus yet feel like I'm accomplishing something. If anything says to me that I truly am an addict, it's my behavior here.

On the one hand, information is so easily available. I'm fantastic at finding and sharing things online - I use facebook, twitter, aim, blogger, vuze, netflix, youtube, gmail, wikipedia, notcot, stumbleupon, webmd, livemocha and google every day. Google is my calculator, translator, dictionary, map, phone book, encyclopedia and thesaurus. Everything is so easy, and when you use these tools enough you learn tricks to finding what you want, like searching site indexes for specific filetypes and the various techniques that increase your likelihood of getting what you want. I use Kayak for flight searches because I can find and compare different days of travel and get the best deals. Bing has a great comparison engine too, and is better for tracking the ups and downs and predicting when is best to buy tickets. I like knowing when there are good travel deals, despite knowing that I can't actually buy them. Occasionally I'll roll the dice and hit up priceline's travel bidding service, I'll lowball a ticket to Paris, Milan, Orlando, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid or wherever, just to see if I land it.

It's all just escapism, yet ultimately I'm not escaping anywhere. In fact, I'm hardly moving.

I think about the things I value in myself, and the top of that list is my ability to express my feelings through words and art. Yet, picking up a pencil attracts that ever present cloud of anxiety, and in shallow breaths I let it build up inside of me until I spontaneously toss the pencil across the room and crumple up my paper.

Lately I've been having an exceptionally hard time maintaining interest in anything for more than a few moments. My thoughts wander immediately after they crystalize. I try to catch things that I think might spark a long, meaningful and thought provoking entry in this blog, and I end up scrapping many more than I post. I think I've erased more than I've written on here. If a post isn't going anywhere, and I look at it and realize it never was to start with, I just cmd+a and hit delete. Sometimes I'll save it as a draft and walk away, without a real intention to return to it.

It's not that I'm overly critical of my writing or my art. I just recognize when something doesn't matter, when it doesn't say what I want it to or doesn't say anything at all. Sometimes a blank canvas says more than one filled with marks.

I think that knowing my computer is there for me to turn to for a quick fix, a quick distraction, a quick 'update', is bad for my concentration. Maybe I should just convince myself to go to the park more, I always appreciate it when I do, but it's so hard just to get dressed sometimes.

Today's day 31. I've passed the 30 day mark. And I want pot. I want alcohol. I want oxy, I want benzos. I want hallucinogens even though I know they're an awful idea. As a friend said, if you find yourself wanting to claw your eyes out when you're sober, you really will if you do acid. Mushrooms are safer, though. I just want to escape my head, it's weighing me down too much. My neck hurts. I could really use a massage.


  1. That's excellent that you passed the 30 day mark. I hope my saying that isn't too meaningless since I haven't had to do that myself. I can only imagine how hard it might be. Your writing has helped me imagine that.
    And that brings me to my other message: please take a little time to think about it before getting rid of your computer. You seem to be trying to get rid of every single thing in your life that is even sort of an addiction, and the many ways in which you use your computer seem to make it worthwhile as well as a time waster/anaesthetic/narcotic whatever...
    Of course my self interest in having you keep your computer is obvious.

  2. I wouldn't get rid of it permanently, but the three or four days I lent it to a friend in the hospital were kind of nice. Having it out of reach is good for me.