The Internet Hurts My Brain

The internet rarely gives me an actual headache so I guess I mean that the internet hurts my mind.

I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is open Facebook. I feel like that’s the logical choice because it’s the primary way that I communicate with most of the people in my life. Problem is, after reading my messages and responding, I tend to scroll further and further down until, until, if you were measuring in feet, I hit the three thousand mark, and if you’re measuring in metaphors I reach the absolute depth of the ninth circle of hell.

I have what some might call a curious mind, and what others, medically trained professionals, say, would call chronic OCD.

So by the time I realize I should stop I’ve wasted godknowshowlong and have twenty-eight tabs open which all lead down other, darker roads.

It’s been a tough week. Gaza, Iraq, Ferguson Mo, and closest to home, Robin Williams. Those things weigh on my brain enough on their own but having to (yes, having to) read every opinion from every amateur pundit and armchair philosopher on social media almost makes my head explode.

When I read a piece I agree with then all is okay. When I read something I disagree with my body temperature literally rises until beads of sweat are standing out on my forehead. My brain fires a quick secession of thoughts like a nine year old girl with an Uzi. They ricochet and bounce off each other until they find a way to connect into a seamless coherence.

the internet hurts my brain

Picture thanks to:

It’s sort of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle of the Mona Lisa only the pieces are fired at you from a machine gun and made of razor blades and it’s pitch dark and you’re tripping balls and hate puzzles.

Then I go back to the person who linked to the article and comment a three thousand word rebuttal only to erase it before posting because what good would it do? You can’t argue with people anymore. Not on the internet.

And this happens to me everyfuckingday.

I wonder if studies have been done to determine how long-term internet abuse affects the human brain. Now I have to go and check.

After tomorrow though, I will not have to check because I’ll be in mountain-y Colorado and Off. The. GRID.  For a whole nine days. I’m excited to have the opportunity to clear my mind and break this addiction to interneting.

Update: If you’re wondering if I have the slowest internet connection in the world and get my newsfeed via a one winged pigeon from New Zealand, don’t. I wrote this two weeks ago and ran out of time before we had to leave. I think I was having a flame war on Bryan Fischer’s twitter account. Or something.

Updatier: The good news is that I’m back and my head is now at least this clear.

Internet hurts my brain going off the grid in Colorado

Not shown: microscopic things.


Lost In Spain: A Collection of Humorous Essays by Scott Oglesby
The funniest book you’ve never read.

  14 comments for “The Internet Hurts My Brain

  1. September 3, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Oh my goodness. I think I would die of multiple panic attacks if I were off the grid for 9 days. Brave man.

    • September 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      It was an anti-panic attack Cassandra. I think they call it serenity or something.

      Thanks Cassandra!

      • September 4, 2014 at 7:39 am

        Serenity makes me anxious.

        • September 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

          Anxiety makes me anxious. But then there’s Xanax.

          Thanks Cassandra!

  2. September 3, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Ah, there you are! Well, I’m glad to hear you were out in nature, earthing. Your brain thanks you.

    Yeah, the internet is a colossal time-sucker, and quite addictive. Better to set a timer and get the heck off when the dinger dings. Maybe take a Sabbath from technology once a week. I’m hearing more and more lately from people who say they’re taking a month off from Tweeting, FBing, etc. All this technology is definitely changing our brains, probably not for the better. At least not until we’ve evolved to keep up with the constant information overload.

    • September 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      I totally agree Diane. I can feel the difference from when I wake up and have coffee chatting with my wife and when I wake up and start interwebbing right from go. The longer I spend online the more restless and ADD-ey I feel. I think the weekly sabbatical is the best option for people like us who have to be online consistently. Maybe every Sunday from now on, I need it.

      Thanks Diane!

  3. September 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    So you’ve been to Colorado and returned? Man, you’re a dark horse, I had no idea you were up in the mountains! Fresh air and goats are perfect therapy for internet overload. “Kiss my ass” and “Suck my balls” would save you a lot of time in commenting on posts you disagree with.

    • September 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Ha! I’ve been called a dark horse before and I’ve always taken it as a compliment as I do now.

      That cold mountain air woke up something long dormant in me. I think they call it freedom.

      Kiss my ass and suck my balls are perfect!

      Thanks GB!~

  4. Ken Page
    September 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    WTF OMG It’s such a PITA that we deal with EFD. Dude, welcome back the un-world.Your 9 day exorcism will not be held against you.

    • September 5, 2014 at 11:54 am

      I’m not sure I even know what you just said but I definitely agree with it 100%.

      Thanks Ken!

  5. Amy
    September 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

    You have to do a brain “cleanse” every once in a while for your sanity. You can’t stuff it with junk for days on end then expect it to perform properly.
    I’m happy that you were able to get away from all the chatter for a while. As long as you don’t feel compelled to try to catch up on everything you missed while you were away.

    • September 5, 2014 at 11:57 am

      I think I’m going to use every Sunday from now on for a brain cleanse. I felt so good and almost… almost normal there for a minute. Then I came home and got back on the internet and now I feel so damn dirty.

      You know me and compulsion Amy. It compels me.

      Thanks Amy!

  6. elizabeth3hersh
    September 6, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    28 tabs? Assuming you use three browsers then you are only one tab over the recommended max allowance of 27 tabs. I know this because I have crashed my computer multiple times when I hit >60 tabs (nope, not those pesky tab-within-tab porn sites). Fortunately, one of those tabs instructed me never to go over 9 tabs per browser. I can’t believe how much alike we are.

    • September 11, 2014 at 8:23 am

      28 tabs indeed. I end up read all this, just, crap. I’ll open one tab and if it has a link to another specific thing I do not think I know enough about; the annual GDP of Estonia or the dietary restrictions of diabetic monkeys, say, I also open that tab because I HAVE to read EVERYTHING.

      That we are Elizabeth!

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