PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Seamy, Sordid Side of Internet Addiction

Before the van rolls up & bundles me away to a recovery program, I am typing out this blog to you, internet world. For it has been a long two days at work, post-vacation, and while the Air Conditioning (broken on Monday) has been fixed, the Email and the Internet have withered and died. Connections were already sketchy, on Monday, when big happy portals like "Yahoo!" wouldn't load, but Google would search for me, and sometimes things took an inordinant amount of time, but I kept the faith. Kept it burning, like a candle in the wind. Then on Tuesday, it Was. No. More. The Internet and the Email were dead. DEAD! All incoming and all outgoing - a black hole. Bouncing messages, the only communication was internal. INTERNAL! I had to resort to USING A PHONE to work with the outside world.

I would catch myself, thinking, "Oh, I'll just Google that & get a phone number!" even turning in my chair, poising my curled speedy fingers over the keys. Then the wave of reality crashed into me, much like the waves in Puerto Vallarta, knocking me down into a wake line of sharp shells. The sting of the salt water in those tiny cuts, just like the pain I felt under the realization, "I have no internet."

Kristin & I spent our lunch hour shopping the aisles of Office Depot. Like heroin addicts seeking methadone. Searching for supplies, something, anything, to give us purpose and direction and focus for the afternoon. I briefly, blindingly considered buying some sort of adaptor for my PDA, to convert it to a wireless computer. I wouldn't have a clue where to start, it would be like trying to start a meth lab with some sangria, altoids and some Clorox Clean-Up.

By 4:00, the jonesing really kicked in. All my business contacts' cards had been organized into a binder containing newly-purchased plastic sleeves, grouped by parent company & media type. As someone who normally deals with piles and chaos all the time, I barely could recognize the level of organization in my office. A quick glance in my pocket mirror confirmed it: a wild & crazed look about me, mascara crumbling under my eyes. I had tried out both kinds of the new pens I'd purchased - cheap fix that they were, they were absolutely delightful, Pentel R.S.V.P., and Pilot razor sharp felt tips (all in a wild colors). My new magnetic clips were lined up on my overhead file cabinet, waiting to clutch a project. My new phone call organizer made me happy, but it was a fleeting sort of happiness. Like drinking non-alcoholic beer. A watery, familiar taste without any of the satisfaction. I inspected my PDA, and did not determine any kind of wireless accessibility. I damn near had the shakes: I was looking to score. I left work.

I drove home & went straight to the computer. Oh sweet internet, you are a cruel bitch monkey on my back and don't ever leave me again. I had a 30-minute window, before I had to leave & get to a knitting class I was teaching. Speed-reading blogs, email, and news - I cut it close, and with all the construction, showed up a few minutes late (walking in with the first student, however!) The second student was 1/2 an hour late, and all I can say is, they had a much calmer teacher than if I'd just driven straight to the classes.

I'm hoping Wednesday will bring us back the internet, at least in the afternoon. I can only imagine how many work emails are waiting for me. If I start to get glassy-eyed, and begin re-sorting all the business cards, I may have to leave & find an internet cafe.

Hey. At least it's all LEGAL.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:31 AM