Browser Beware

I swear, I turned my computer on to do some work. There was this thing I really wanted to get out of the way before the day became too crazy and I got pulled in different directions. It’s a delicate balance between working for money, doing things for family, pro-bono/volunteer work and last, but what should not be least, writing a new book.

When the computer turns on I find myself automatically opening a web browser without thinking. The routine starts. I check the news, I check social media, I pay some bills, I check email, I check book sales, I check email again, I go back to social media, I see lots of animals doing strange things but none as strange as wasting the precious time I’m wasting. Finally, I circle back to the news and wonder what it was I wanted to get done when I turned the computer on in the first place.

I look at the time and realise I need to move. I have to get ready. I have to make the lunches; I have to encourage (yell at) the household to be ready on time. If I didn’t encourage (yell) then they wouldn’t get to school on time. If they are late then I am late. But that’s not the point. What was the point? The point gets lost because of all the browsing and checking and looking at things I really don’t need to see right now. There was a job to do, a file to fix, something that needed sending to someone but it’s lost now in the pattern of online irrelevance.

I shut down the browser, I close the email and I make a firm decision to break the pattern. Patters are easily created without any thought. They take hold of you without your awareness. But this one I can see now. So the plan is to hold onto the idea that needs to be recorded, the work that should be completed, to not open that browser or email as a casual part of the computer’s start-up routine. My new mantra; I will be conscious of my actions, I will do what I want first and take control of the internet and not allow it to draw me into unknown distracting and often meaningless places.

I feel this may not be the best way to write about this subject, but my mind is too disrupted to think of a better way. There are issues that need to be teased out and explored. What is this constant interruption doing to my thought processes, what is it doing to my fellow human beings? Think of the children? For now, all I can do is offer this fragmented peek through the window. With time and awareness perhaps it will be possible to master what is currently enslaving me and what, I suspect, holds many of us in its grasp.

Evan Shapiro
Author – Road To Nowhere

What do you think?