I don’t have to tell you how distracting technology is in our lives. I know it’s a topic of many complaints. When I complain about it, it is hard for me to admit just how damaging it has become to me. I laugh at those who are constantly checking their phone during dinner. At least I am not that bad, I think to myself.
I came to work today with every intention to start working. I had a full day of accounting to finish for the year. Ok, it’s a job that I like to put off. So, first email. The email box was jammed with unanswered emails going back seven days, personal and work mixed perfectly so that it feels that I am working. I started going down the list, getting lost in my thoughts. Then my phone went off with three texts. One was a reminder that I had to purchase tickets for a show for this Saturday so I started browsing online for tickets, getting lost in shows and movies that I wish I could see. I went back to finish email, only to realize that I can never finish email because it just keeps on coming.
Finally, I stopped. Everything. The phone, the email, the Facebook. But it was too late. It was 1pm and it was going to be so hard to squeeze my project into this day.
I know, I am complaining, but what is there to do. Do I not answer all those emails that distract me? Do I ignore texts and calls?
Psychologically, it is exciting to get emails, and texts, and likes, and all these new forms of validation. But it’s all crap. All of it. Maybe because of all this time spent online, I have no time to see or call real friends. And even now as I write, I have a strong desire to click on my email tab and see if any new emails have come in.
What the hell am I waiting for? A letter from Girls, inviting me to be a part of their show? What could possibly be so exciting in my email? A friend request from someone I met for five minutes last weekend?
When I first got my email account, I remember using it to write long letters to friends and they wrote me long letters back. There was time spent constructing jokes and rereading them to make sure they were funny. There were flirty emails with cute boys i liked and my heart raced when I saw their name in my inbox. Maybe that is how I became programmed to think that getting an email is exciting and I should be checking it incessantly, even while my 3.5 year-old-son is telling me a brilliant fantastical story about a good dinosaur that eats bad dinosaurs.
You haven’t heard from me in so long and I am back with a rant. We can just add this to the list of another online distraction.