Hold on an internet minute, let me just Facebook-Blog that Twitter before I Flickr that Yahoo!?!*#@
It's not hard to understand why it becomes so harrowingly addictive, especially for people like me, who require a thrice daily fix to fill their empty time and quite probably their empty souls. Had I been born just a bit more of an extrovert with, say, an ounce more love for real people and had I grown up in a town other than London, where the weather is not such a miserably foul dictator, I would not have joined this crazy modern internet phenomenon and perhaps I would have been more fulfilled with what I had.
But history has run its course. Instead, I now scroll through terabytes upon terabytes of meaningless friends' updates daily: Sarah is shopping on Oxford Street; Mark is in Bombay, woohoo!; Ashley has started drinking beer at 10am and thinks everyone should do it; Tania is now a pious protestant nun and wants to chastise Britney Spears' baby. OK, so the names are not real and neither are the updates I've just taken from my sometimes garbage-filled skull, but you get the picture - it all adds up to garbage. On top of this, Twitter - bless their Silicon Valley souls - add an extra layer of complexity and suddenly, I get these @ signs seeing people I don't know in real life, responding to celebrity updates about celebrities I cannot relate to in real life, such as @Stephenfry it is true, you are bisexual, or @Sarah_Palin I think you won't be back in 2012. I can even link my Twitter update to Facebook and vice versa? Yes! I can feel important in front of "friends"!
Honestly, it no longer matters to me that around 60% of my Facebook "friends" are people I never talked to in school, or one of my few close friends just took a picture of himself in a compromising position next to a dolphin in Disneyland, or what the next Senator thinks about his football team while listening to Obama's address. It no longer matters that there are these hot looking girls linked up to every social network talking about tech-wizardary improvements, luring sweaty-palmed geeks to their subscriptions. I don't care that you can use all these fantastic magical applications (apps) on each website, or on the iPhone, to further improve your over-connectedness to strangers or to play mind-numbing games:
Case in point:
For too long we have become obedient to the idea that online friends and, to a certain extent, online dating is actually normal. A world of cowards (or we are encouraged to be cowards), cowering behind a screen to exchange messages or spy on people we would otherwise never give a second glance to on the street. We entertain ourselves with the idea that it's OK to procrastinate because we are making contacts with potentially new business associates, or dates and opening doors to new horizons. Our souls have been blackened enough and it is time for me to call it quits - let's do something REAL.
NEXT WEEK I WILL ABSTAIN from any of these social network websites for a week. If I do well, I will continue for longer and longer, until I eventually give up all this online shenanigan business. This is going to be tough and it will be as if I checked into rehab. But I will still have the internet, e-mail and online news. Here's to a more healthy soul in the face of great adversity and a lack of friends! With any luck, I won't be back here.