Internet Invented Emotions

I came across this article on Gizmodo and it so speaks to my life (except for the twitter one, I’m just not much of a twitterer (is that a word)). This point about being stuck on the computer and feeling more and more anxiety because you know that you aren’t doing anything productive is how I feel at least once every day. The only thing that I will add is that often I have Netflix open on a computer that sits beside me at my desk.

The state of being ‘installed’ at a computer or laptop for an extended period of time without purpose, characterized by a blurry, formless anxiety undercut with something hard like desperation.

During this time the individual will have several windows open, generally several browser ‘tabs,’ a Microsoft Word document in some state of incompletion, the individual’s own Facebook page as well as that of another randomly-selected individual who may or may not be on the ‘friends’ list, 2-5 Gchat conversations that are no longer immediately active, possibly iTunes and a ‘client’ for Twitter. The individual will switch between the open applications/tabs in a fashion that appears organized but is functionally aimless, will return to reading some kind of ‘blog post’ in one browser tab and become distracted at the third paragraph for the third time before switching to the Gmail inbox and refreshing it again.

The behavior equates to mindlessly refreshing and ‘lozenging’ the same sources of information repeatedly. While performing this behavior the individual feels a sense of numb depersonalization, being calmly and pragmatically aware that they have no identifiable need to be at the computer nor are they gleaning any practical use from it at that moment, and the individual may feel vaguely uncomfortable or ashamed about this awareness in concert with the fact that they continue to perform the idle ‘refreshing’ behavior. They may feel increasingly anxious and needful, similar to the sensation of having an itch that needs scratching or a thirst that needs quenching, all while feeling as though they are calm or slightly bored.

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