THE MAIN DISTRACTION IN MY LIFE

IS ALSO THE SUPPOSED SOURCE OF MY LIVELIHOOD: it is simply put, the internet.

I experience a bizarre brain fogginess the moment I’m connected again.
I want to check email compulsively
or to see if something I posted got liked.
Or maybe I’ll get a sudden notice
from one of the ga-zillion places that now have my email
trying to entice me to wander over to their site
to give my attention to their cause
their business
their post
their whatever

and my focus gets shattered
in a hundred different pieces
subtly
without my realizing it
and i blame myself
for procrastinating
and not getting anything done
despite forcing myself to stay in the chair
and look at the screen
and go to my reminder app
and start over again

it’s maddening
then my back hurts,
my eyes get tired
and my brain gets loopier

a hopeless state
so i lie down
for a bit
or take a walk
or my favorite,
i get lost in the creativity of the kitchen
another day at the freelancer’s office, right?

but then, feeling prodded, i head back over to the computer
which seems to be calling me
like a siren towards the rocks
well intentioned
i head over
and look at the emails that came in
angrily deleting spam
that last batch of “unsubscribe me’s” led to a new plethora of shit mail
my good faith sold off to completely gross sites

that could only pay to spam me

so i furiously mark them as junk and make new rules
catching them by their noses
trashing all their emails with the very code words they use
i feel momentarily triumphant
but then realize that 20 min have gone by…

now i’m playing catch up by
checking three things at once
maybe it lasts for a few moments
my new determination at super productivity online

but then, my attention gets spliced again
cut sharply by
a new email with video posts
or by another promising concept
or techie thing
that will save my budding business

then it’s another cycle
of signups
email confirmations
skimming through the latest promises
and watching their tutorials
while spotify clinks over to an annoying commercial
and i have to sift through all the open windows
to mute that noise
except that if i do
the bastards don’t allow the commercial to ever end
and i start to get worn down again…

and forget why i went on in the first place
didn’t i write that note down somewhere?
was it in pages?
or in reminders?
napkin?
somewhere in google drive?
or maybe opus domini?
maybe i was mind mapping it?

and what priority comes first now?
why was my mind so clear about what to do 20 min ago?
was it…
the video?
building “content” somehow?
reaching out to a potential client?
ohhh reaching out would be so nice right now
because i feel i’m slipping into that void again
straight down the slippery slope
do they call this ADD?
maybe I should google it to make sure…

oh, there’s the quiz on the ADD site
that tells me that the things I identify with on their list
are exactly what’s wrong with me…
doomed.. but they have a cure… for $9.99 a month…

blink
close your eyes
NO, i won’t pathologize this condition
i’ve been down that “powerless” path before
and it took me two years to get back my common sense
after “turning it over”

what was it like before the internet?
i spent a lot more time on the phone, i think
or maybe it was the tv
i wrote in journals
that got put into boxes
i spent more time outside

didn’t i just have a “to-do” list
with the normal struggles of getting things done?

So if the internet is the “source” of my livelihood
and also the source of my greatest distraction…
do i look to self-policing apps
or rat on myself to a few friends
hoping that that will be enough to yank my chain back to
the steady path
the simple path
the good path

or maybe there’s that bracelet
that’s in beta somewhere
invented by a california kid
after he paid a craig’s list worker
to sit by him
during his productivity times
and slap him hard in the face
every time we wandered onto facebook!

he beta tested it on himself
to measure whether his productivity would go up
and according to him, it did by 80% in the next week
so he invented the electric shock bracelet
modern day behavioralism
for online freelancers and digital nomads

amazing
how the technology changes
but the methods for control don’t so much
and people don’t so much either

so now i’ve come to another room
far off in the house
with a comfortable table
my iTunes set to shuffle
and a comfortable chair

and i’ve managed to write this in one sitting
is that a sign that i need to be disconnected to get anything done?