Stuck in the Vortex

Late one night, after a long day of work and a long evening of studying, I was laying in bed exhausted and ready to fall asleep. Except I didn’t. I was trapped in an Instagram vortex and there was no getting me out.

03-underpantsthedog

Underpants the Dog

I had just discovered Underpants the Dog, and there was no stopping me from looking at every picture ‘she’ had ever posted. I was sucked in, nearly an hour past, and it was far past my bedtime-what the heck was I doing?

But I have a feeling that I’m not the only one who gets sucked into this mindless vortex of social media use. Be it endlessly refreshing a Facebook feed or pointlessly retweeting everything that seems half amusing, it seems that this behaviour is fairly common place. In fact there is even a form of shock therapy to users put a stop to mindless computer use.

I recently came across and article called “How to Break 5 Soul-Sucking Technology Habits” and it got me thinking: even though I realize mindlessly browsing Facebook can be a bad habit, what else am I doing in my life that is inadvertently causing me to be dependant on the internet.

One such topic discussed was “Falling sleep while watching Netflix”. Gosh, I do this netflix-screenshotalmost every night. Thinking that I was being money savvy and frugal, I canceled my very expensive satellite account and signed up for Netflix. So each night rather than watch the news before bed, I had just been flipping on some cable melodrama and dozed off. And now the more I think on it, how is this not any worse than flipping through hours of Instagram. I am gaining nothing of value, where I was at least getting a little information out of the news, and I was staring mindlessly at the TV rather than getting a good night’s sleep. Perhaps tonight I should pull out a book…

Another bad habit I hardly realized I had formed was “Googling Everything”. I admit I am a bit of an IMDB junkie, the second I recognize a face, its straight to IMBD to figure out what else they were in. Similarly, if I forget a word, or statistic that I once new, Google is the first place I turn. This would probably take me five minutes of thinking, but why do that when I could pull it up in less than ten seconds? Why use brain power when I can just rely on the internet to think for me? I think this one is self explanatory, and I have since tried to put a few minutes of active thought into my own questions before I rely the all mighty Google to be my brain for me.

Those are my confessions, friends, I have a little (although I’m trying to be more mindful of it) bit of an internet dependancy. So, I’m wondering if anyone will fess up too? What is your bad technology habit?

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2 thoughts on “Stuck in the Vortex

  1. Yes, I know I have some. Like you, I Google everything. My friends make fun of me ’cause I take out my phone just about anywhere to find life-affirming answers to questions like “Is Erik Estrata still alive” and “Who invented the tub top?” At rock-bottom online moments (I’m tired, bored, can’t sleep) I check out the “10 photos you won’t believe” type ‘click bait’ sites (and I know I’m being baited!). Luckily, those low moments are rare. I post on FB too quickly and then have to go back and edit once I’ve given more thought. I text sometimes while a friend is talking to me ’cause I feel getting 2 things done mediocrely at the same time is good (sarcasm). I have a pavlovian response to some notification sounds when it could be indicating mundane or undesirable things like an online bill, or ad. How’s that? I could go one, but I feel that’s enough…
    Thanks for the post.

  2. I’m a google junkie too…For me it’s looking up vegan recipes for anything. That’s well and fine, but I do have to remind myself that everything that’s on the Internet isn’t necessarily true! I’ve been guilty of overdoing Facebook as well. I mean, I will look at it. Close it. Five minutes later I’m in there looking again. I’m like a bored person staring inside the fridge expecting some new yummy treat to have magically appeared since the last time I looked. I have actually forced myself (and it IS a trial!) to have Twitter and Facebook-less days. They’re refreshing. They get me out there… then I have new content to post on Facebook when I come back. ;P

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