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So in my perpetual battle of Sheila Versus The Addictive Call Of The Internets, I keep coming up with various strategies to keep myself from pissing half the day away on the less-than-useful aspects of this particular modern convenience. I've tried time limits, which work for a while, but then get broken and trampled the moment I'm sucked into a TV Tropes link or something.

I take some odd consolation in the fact that I'm not unique in this particular craving for another hit of information. As it turns out, our brains are wired for it. Knowing why, for me at least, makes it a little easier to detach myself from it or to at least acknowledge it instead of thinking myself weak for having it. (Bit like the way I've dealt with depression, come to think of it.) Nevertheless, "I'm just wired this way" only gets you so far as an excuse, particularly once you're fully aware of how you're wired.

To give another example from my particular tangled nest of neurons, when I went through a battery of psychological tests to determine that I did not have Attention Deficit Disorder (they might have caught the depression at that point in my life, but my moods had been momentarily buoyed by the initial rush of infatuation with the second man I ever fell in love with) one thing they did catch was a gap in my short-term memory. I was given a list of numbers and asked to recite the numbers backwards from memory. The longer the list, the more I stumbled. It explained a lot of frustrating moments I'd had up to that point.

Apparently, I have a black hole in my head where important information occasionally gets swallowed up sixty seconds after I've been exposed to it. (It's one reason I'm pretty lousy with names, as well.) And while it would be easy enough to throw up my hands and say 'well, that's just the way I am', I immediately think of the infuriating question that azewewish would always ask me when I complained about a given obstacle in my path--

"What are you going to do about it?"

Thus have I become an artisan of coping mechanisms. I mutter strings of numbers to myself on the way from the desk to the filing system so I'll remember what I'm looking for by the time I get to where it is. When I worked at my last job, I kept a notepad by the phone so I could remember who was calling by the time the boss picked up the line I was paging him on. I scribble things in my catbook, tap them into the iPhone, whatever it takes if I don't want some important bit of information to slither out my left ear, land on the floor and skitter away.

As for the internet addiction problem, my current coping mechanism to keep myself from clicking the day away is to restrain myself from my usual surfing activities until I have completed ten tasks for the day. One of those tasks is to post in at least one of my blogs, and this here would be the blog post that frees me to run rampant on the interweebs.

Granted, the tendency to go a bit splody after restraining oneself all day isn't quite as much of an improvement as I would like, but at least I'm going splody after having gotten some useful things done. And some days, Sheila gets nothing done and Sheila gets no interweebs. It's a fair enough trade.

Moods are improving. Floor is uncluttered and inbox is manageable. Crazy ideas brewing in mental laboratory--will talk more when they're ready to emerge into the light.

Today I took pleasure in "First Breath After Coma" by Explosions in the Sky.

Today I learned how NOT to get to the Fulton County Courthouse.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)

Getting rid of the TV really helped keep my mind clear - and I notice that when I'm away from the internet (like on holiday, or obsessed with a knitting project), I also get more clear headed.

I think the visuals just smack brains around, and those more susceptible to the effects have a hard time getting the fog out. I can't paint, can't sleep, etc., etc.,

It's difficult since at work I'm using the internet to do my job, but I try to get off it on the weeknights, and only check my email on the weekend or look up some place I need to go.

Sep. 29th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
It's easy to get sucked into things that don't require much thought. But good on you for working on it. :)
Oct. 5th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I am rubbing the screen where I see your entry. I am hoping your discipline rubs off on me.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )