The intrawebz is an interesting place.
Not because everything is literally here—well except good taste—but because of the bizarre and unusual and compelling stuff that constantly gets shifted to the front, sort of belched up into our consciousness for all of us to admire for a few moments before dissipating back into the morass.
It’s also an incredibly dangerous place. No, not because of the predators and conspiracy nuts and crazees who make this happen. Or the wingnuts who come up with crap like this—
(And yes the red text is not a formatting accident … thanks for noticing … I’ll explain in a bit)
No, this is a dangerous place because it can easily suck those precious allotted hours of your life away in a painless manner. Some days, opening your browser is like settling into a warm tub, slitting your wrists and slowly bleeding out while your consciousness drifts away …
Okay, maybe too dramatic there. But I can’t count the days where I’ve thought, “Oh look, I have a half hour before I have to go to work and I have an idea that might be amusing, maybe I can write a little something,” and I jump to my computer (not quite like Batman sliding down the Batpole, but I’m okay with the bataphor) and open my browser to get to the back-end tool (*insert Butthead like chortle here* “You said, ‘back end tool’ … heh heh*) that I use for this site and … “Oh hey look, I got an email. Oh look, I got a Facebook notification. Gee, I wonder what the Jets are up too? Hey, that looks like it’s going to hurt …”
… and then that precious 30 minutes of the one life I will ever have on this planet and that I will never get back is gone. Just. like. that.
(If you’re checking your watch, you’ve already lost about 8 minutes here depending on how much you clicked. Thanks for staying if you’re still here.)
But this isn’t new ground, right? “Down the rabbit hole” they call it, in honor of Alice in Wonderland (and if you choose to read a book rather than this right now, yay!) Let me enthusiastically suggest this one:
Last season on South Park also addressed this too, where characters were trying to solve a mystery about internet ads becoming self-aware. They would go online to look for clues to solve the crime and then see an ad for 10 celebrities who use kale as an exfoliant, and then 15 minutes later, “regain consciousness” at the mall, where they would be buying sneakers and eating chicken nuggets, duped by the intrawebz.
Oh speaking of new sneakers, did you see that Inov8 has—
Damn! And nary a chicken nugget …
Okay, the funny part here is that I’ve written the entire first draft of this post in about 15 minutes on a morning before work—which is some sort of accomplishment/personal-record-that-no-one-in-their-right-mind-would-keep-but-we-all-do-like-how-we-all-know-the-day-we-got-to-work-the-quickest-or-took-the-biggest-dump. And it happened because I did NOT open my web browser to look for any of the examples, images, etc. that you’ve been reading that are in red. I went back and added all that later, and oddly enough, that took 68 minutes. (And in the original draft of this, I just wrote “xx time” and clocked it later.)
I guess my point here, if I have one, is that we’re all drifting into the Matrix, living vicariously living and defining our lives by how much social media, celebrity gossip, YouTube clips and other distractions we can find [*insert something worthless here—yes, that’s what I originally wrote in my first draft, and I wrote this too—it sort of feels like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure where they’re like, “Oh, and then later, we’ll use the time machine to get my father’s keys and put them … HERE!”*]. Okay here’s one of my favorite time-sucking distractions. (Okay, actually just wasted 12 minutes here … but got a all-time best high score of 2,562 feet!)
Oh wait, you want the creamy and sweet intrawebz fluff that we all now need to consume on a daily basis—here, try this:
6 Things To Do Rather Than Mindlessly Consume Online Content
1. Live in the real world.
2. Do something stupid with your kids.
3. Do something stupid with your parents.
4. Do something stupid with your kids and parents, although I don’t recommend “Cards Against Humanity” because it will scar you, mainly because your 14-year-old son keeps bringing up the phrase “Grandma’s Anal Beads.”
5. Dust your house because the universe hates you. Seriously, dust—and having to address it—may be the most insidious thing on the planet. How else do you explain being penalized for having done absolutely nothing at all. I mean, vacuuming, I get: you walk on the floor, you get dirt in the house, it needs to be cleaned. But that top book shelf? I have done nothing about it for the past year, haven’t even looked at it, but now I have to clean it simply because it exists. Somewhere, The Lethargians weep.
6. Run, walk, sit in the sun like a lizard or DO SOMETHING LIKE CHURN OUT A BLOG POST IN UNDER 30 MINUTES. Or as I now call it: soaking up a little of what’s left of your precious time by creating not consuming.
Because, you know, life.