The Web Has Got Me

June 17, 2020 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Last week, I decided to start tackling a problem I've had for a long, long time. Brain fog. It's been getting worse over the years - to the point that I don't realise time has gone by. I forget things instantly. A tipping point was recently being unable to work out a profit margin (rather embarrassing for all concerned!).

I considered two main areas of life to help stop the rot. The internet, and meditation.

Thinking back to being on holiday, even just away for the day or weekend, I'm disconnected from the random funland of the internet. That endless pit of new information, new tools, new opinions, new news and new opportunities. The world where 12 hours can go by and you cannot remember what you've done with them.

This world has essentially been my world for 20 years. And, though it pains me to say it, it has narrowed my field of thought, and even my physical field of vision. When at the screen, my eyes can only comprehend the rectangle of the widescreen. When away from the screen, they struggle to adjust to a wider landscape.

Mentally, after about 30 minutes of staring, clicking and supposedly"learning" through this screen, my mind is hazy. I struggle to think in words. I struggle to hold concepts and models in my mind (although -strangely- my mind can easily still cope with coding and the imagination required throughout). Time becomes a blur and it's time to sleep again.

Being away from any connected device, PC or phone, for the day and this lessens dramatically. So I decided to drop using the internet for recreation. 8am-5pm I'm working, but as soon as 5pm comes along, no screens for me. A book, conversation, or a walk instead.

I lasted 5 days. 5 days until I thought, like a smoker trying to give up, one night won't hurt. One night a week to keep up with my interests online. Well, that one night is 4 nights long so far.

I know others must have the same problem. Our lives and hobbies are all dependent on the internet, but the internet is causing us harm. I'd love to talk to you if you have the same problem, so we could help each other (matt at mattharwood.com). Maybe we could start writing paper letters to each other? :)

My other prong in this particular attack was meditation. I've meditated on and off since being an early teenager. Again, 5 days and I took a break that hasn't ended yet.

Tonight, after clicking publish, I'm turning off for now. Another reset. Maybe if I don't give up trying, I'll crack it?

About



Subscribe (RSS)


Politics, The Simple Life, Programming, Small Internet