I’ve got exactly twenty minutes to write up a blog post before I have to go to work. It’s a totally self-imposed deadline, and yeah, I did get up really late today, so I shouldn’t be complaining about time constraints. But I want to get something done, and unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting for a good idea to pop in my head.
See, I just wrote that, and it didn’t lead to anything. I finished that last sentence, and then I sat for a second, I looked at the clock, a minute passed by. Twenty minutes on the computer? If I’m not actively typing sentences, those twenty minutes are going to straight up evaporate. I’ll click over to my Internet browser just for a second, just to look at one thing, and the next time I look back, not only will those twenty minutes have disappeared, but the Internet will have stolen more time along with it. Like I’ll be late for work.
And I don’t even know what I do online. There’s nothing going on. There are only like three or four bullshit web sites that I’m clicking back and forth from. One link leads to another link leads to ten minutes gone, fifteen minutes, finally I get a hold of myself, I regain awareness of what I’m doing, of what I was trying to do, I’m looking at some really boring Internet article, I can’t even try to piece together how I got to what I’m doing, totally uninterested.
How are you supposed to get anything done with the Internet? I remember my brief career as a paralegal. It had to have been some cosmic joke, like let’s just get a bunch of young people, set them up with some computers in some nondescript office building somewhere and we won’t really tell them what they’re supposed to be doing. There were like eight of us in the room, and we were all just professional Internet surfers.
And I can do the Internet for a while, but like three, four hours, tops. That’s a lot of Internet, like I’m feeling drained after I’m on the Internet for that long. But back then? When I was getting paid to sit down for eight hours a day? That’s entirely way too much Internet. That’s when you’re surfing the Internet while at the same time actively hating the Internet. You completely exhaust any bits of worthwhile information from all of the top notch web sites, and then you look at the clock and you’ve still got four hours left.
Holy shit. So you wind up on those aggregate sites, just bullshit piled upon bullshit, everything in hyperlink form, all of those lists, thirty-two sure signs that you’re a human being, you click on number one, then you have to click for number two, everything that you read, nothing’s new, it’s all just labeled differently. And those secondary, tertiary web sites, they’ve all got really weird sidebar ads, like why is this web site offering me payday loans, offering me the chance to learn to become a mortician, do I want to meet interesting twenty-somethings from Uzbekistan?
Man, I complain about my job, I complain constantly about waiting tables, but whatever, at least I have to walk around. Take this over there. Do this and do that. Whatever, I’m moving my body. I remember one time as a paralegal I spent like a month mustering up the courage to march down to the attorney’s office and tell her, listen, boss, I’m not doing anything. What am I supposed to be doing? Give me something to do, please.
So she’s on her computer when I walk in, she doesn’t even look up, she’s like, “What is it?” I tell her my concerns but she’s mostly unresponsive. And that’s when I look in a little closer, her glasses, they’re reflecting her computer screen. I swear to Christ, she’s playing Scrabble. She’s sitting there doing exactly the same nonsense that all of us young people are doing down the hall. So what was the difference, besides her law degree? Her own office? She had to sit there for seventy hours a week and us just forty?
Seventy hours of Internet a week, I don’t know if I could take it. I’d have to get into some really niche web sites. Anyway, my twenty minutes are up. I should get up earlier tomorrow.