Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Internet is doing my head in

The Internet is doing my head in and that's official.

In the four minutes of each day that I allow myself to be away from the screen I now check my head in the bathroom mirror to see if there's a dent in it caused by overexposure to the Internet. Then I worry I may have missed an email and rush back.

Sometimes I wryly try to imagine how I did my job before the advent of the Information Superhighway as it used to be called in those pioneering days when it was new and mysterious.

How did I research facts? How did I network? Did I have to talk to people face-to-face? How scary must that have been?

The first newpaper I interned on used heavy typewriters, vast inky behemoths that would swallow your fingers if you missed the keys.

Make a mistake on the tawdry bits of paper you fed into the beast and you were told to bash "xxxx" over it. Our copy was such a mess it was amazing that it ended up as newsprint at all. But then there was a whole floor of mirky production people downstairs to check it.

These days when I write a story it appears on the website (dailypress.com) two minutes later. It calls for concentration because my grocery list could easily end up online if my mind wandered.

Today I have spent a while clicking on the 'most read' section to see if "Man shot by gun in old clothing" is going to climb up the list past "14-year-old still on the run," or "Death of homeless man was not a homicide." I'm thinking "Cat bites woman," might get more hits if the headline was "Woman Bites Cat."

For light relief there's always Facebook. I can browse the pictures of a colleague's wedding, see a former colleague holding up chickens, see an unknown relative of another former colleague visiting New York and view butterfly photos from another former colleague with a liking for butterflies.

I have a lot of former colleagues. I start to get paranoid about this and wonder if there's a website for people who are paranoid about colleagues becoming former colleagues.

But before seeking that I have to decide whether to poke back someone who poked me on Facebook because she thought I was somebody else.

And there's always the Facebook quizzes - what kind of serial killer would I be? A not very pleasant one I'd assume as serial killers tend to be...

I'm told once you have compiled the 40 things about yourself note on Facebook it's game over. You have to discard the site like that tattered old Operation game you had when you were a kid.

But I still regularly check Facebook, although I'm not sure if I should be sad about missing Live Q and A with the MLM LeadSystemPRO co-founders. I'm sure they are a lovely bunch, but you wouldn't want to take them down the pub.

Anyhow Facebook is apparently passe and pedestrian now in a cyber universe that moves at quite a zip. The idea is to go on Twitter and get as many followers as possible because this may confer you some kind of advantage in the afterlife.

Twitter makes you feel needed because people email you with interesting looking links. Unfortunately when you click on them most seem to be selling things, although I can't work out what.

Still it must work for some people as there are so many of them out there describing themselves as Internet Entrepreneurs, who devote a lot of energy to posting messages of such excrutiating positivity that they are obviously manic depressives. Be absolutely determined to do what you do/ don't allow yourself a negative thought/make sure your pets ooze positivity - that kind of thing.

I'm tempted to post: "My life sucks and I can't go on," for the hell of it to see how many followers I lose in a cyber second.

Anyhow I'm told Twitter is meant to be a vehicle to get people to see your blog, but they'd need to be confused or drunk if they are still reading mine this far, especially as I'm sure it's not maximising interactivity potential.

And that's when I'm supposed to reel them in like big gullible guppies and sell them something, I guess. At this stage the strategy starts to come undone like the line of knitted undergarments I thought I'd market on EBay once I learned to knit.

My aim is to get off of here and to reconnect with my family if I remember what they look like. Maybe we can cook sausages over a camp fire a long way from here and sing songs 100 miles away from the nearest internet connection. Yeah - I know, you don't need to plug in now.

I have promised to give it all up soon. At least after I've updated my blog.

As soon as I connect with my first buck toothed girl from Luxembourg that's it. I'm going to swich off the computer and dust off my type writer.

7 comments:

  1. hahahahahahahahahahaha.
    YS YR AG IS SHWNG U R STLL USNG VWLS.

    This might help
    http://www.madhousebeyond.com/?mode=txtspeak.

    Oh what is the grid, how do I get off it!

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  2. found you on Tossing Quarters.. had to read what a guy had to say that fancied mood swings.. note the sarcasm.

    Bet your partner would let you be preggers next time.

    Great blog btw.

    Laura at http://snickerbaraddict.blogspot.com

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  3. OMG.. Stereophonics is my absolute fave and Kelly Jones isn't so bad either. Brit music is my favorite.

    Thanks for the visit. xx

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  4. Ah, here are the vowels, I wondered where they went. :-)

    I'm one of those tweeters who is excuriatingly positive. I find I need to say something nice, before I shoot myself in the head from all the redundancy. I prefer to think I'm helping someone...

    Some of us who tweet do still like to write - once in a while anyway. But there is a wonderful challenge in having to make your thoughts succinct and yet still retain some sort of clarity, no? Otherwise, words can run right off the page. Or make for a really long comment...

    Lovely to know I might have a chance in the afterlife, given that I have a few followers - although I guess that elevates Ashton even higher. Either way, I'll definitely know some people no matter where I end up in the afterlife, right?

    Those of us focussed enough to see past all the twitter drivel and sales-speak are sometimes rewarded with a link to a blog like yours. Thanks for the lovely read - and the tweet that brought me here. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Melanie

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  5. Thanks Melanie - I appreciate your comments. David

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  6. yeah bud yeah, why do you have to type on this, will it not do it for you, this internet, heaven is not here, where is the lawnmore man, you know j anout jack, gerry is on his way, watch out for mr green hes coming, to take you away, and if you think this dosnt make any sence, i could look at your babble and say the same, you did say sweet f all new.

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  7. yeah bud yeah, why do you have to type on this, will it not do it for you, this internet, heaven is not here, where is the lawnmore man, you know j anout jack, gerry is on his way, watch out for mr green hes coming, to take you away, and if you think this dosnt make any sence, i could look at your babble and say the same, you did say sweet f all new.

    ReplyDelete