. . . Monday January 23, 2006

Did the Internet Destroy Me?

Did crack turn me into an addict, or did I just have an addictive personality that made crack seem pretty damn fun?

That’s the question.

In my case, the crack is this thing right here. The web. And the symptoms are not confined to addiction but have spread to my current inability to focus on anything longer than the average instant message.

I can’t read books. I can’t even focus on a magazine article without stopping every few paragraphs to email my team at Rollyo about tweaks we should be making to our new Firefox tool (or whatever happens to be to project of the moment). I can’t listen to other people for more than a few seconds. Eye contact is unthinkable (too much else to see).

I wanted to investigate whether I might have A.D.D., but I could only get as far as the first D before I lost interest.

When I am in my shrink’s office, sometimes I interrupt myself to ask, “Wait a second, whose unconscious was I just talking about?”

When I found out my wife was pregnant, I immediately set up a blog for the kid. I already know that he wants to get any of my attention, he’s going to need an RSS feed.

It took me four separate sessions in a dark and silent room to get through this blog post (and I wish I had stayed focused as the last time I got sidetracked it was to put a big chunk of dough on the Panthers in the NFC Championship. Anyone know what happened, I was flipping channels?).

But here’s the question:

Did the internet make me like this? Did the always connected, always emailing, always browsing, always IMing and always going all-in while playing online Texas Holdem gradually destroy my ability to focus and think clearly?

Or was I just a guy with a short attention span who was therefore drawn to the internet?

Did crack make me an addict, or am I just the type of guy who needed some crack?

And while we’re at it, what was I just about to do? Hmmm. Oh yeah, hit the publish button…

Concentration is important!