Posted by: GeekHiker | March 9, 2009

Branching Out… For The Worse?

Lately I’ve found myself spending more and more time online.  I’m not entirely convinced that it’s a good thing.

I’ve found myself spending more evenings reading blog posts rather than writing them.  Or hanging out on various (too many, in fact) social networking sites, which is all-too-easy in an isolating town like LA.  Or chatting.  Or playing flash games. Or just surfing the web.

The funny thing is that, in all the years I’ve been working with computers and had a web presence, I’ve never spent this much time online.  What’s a little scary is that it’s kind of like a drug, like I feel the pull.  And while I’m enjoy my time on line and the interactions that I have there, there’s no carry-through to the rest of my day.

It’s eating up my time, too.  I’ll log on “just to see what’s going on” and the next thing I know it will be 11:30.  Gone is the time that I should have been writing a blog post.  Gone is the time that I should have been planning trips and travel and the like.  Gone is the time that I was going to reply to all the e-mails in my inbox(es).

The last one concerns me the most.  There are people friends who I haven’t been on top of replying to e-mail as I normally have been.  I don’t like seeing that in me.  I much preferred it when I was the guy who was always responding to e-mails on a timely basis.  It’s more me.

The real irony of it is that it hasn’t made me a hermit.  If anything, my social interactions have increased a bit lately.  So… not what one might expect.

Yet, during most weeknights, sitting home in my place, I find myself drawn back to the web.  I don’t know, maybe it’s filling some sort of gap that’s been created from all these years of living alone.  Or easing the stresses I feel in my current living environment.

Which, in a weird way, is too bad, given the stack of Netflix stuff sitting on top of the TV.

If I were smart (and I’ve certainly never claimed to be that), I would probably go cold-turkey.  But, like any addiction, it’s kind of a foregone conclusion that that would go down in flames.

It’s more a matter of balance, I suppose.  Balance that I just can’t seem to achieve lately.

I should be better at that by now, methinks.



  1. i think it’s almost inevitable that this happens. that’s why i’m resisting the urge to get on facebook – just another thing to constantly check. maybe set aside a specific time to write a new post, answer emails, etc.
    and don’t feel bad about it. “those mines aren’t going to sweep themselves” (thank you jim halpert)

  2. I dunno, I went through a Call of Duty 4 jag…about a month and a half of imaginary shooting and mayhem and now I’m over it.

    (You should always wait an hour after playing COD4 before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Condolences to my neighbor who stepped into the alley unexpectedly.)

    There is an addictive quality to the internet. I think there’s no harm in exploring that for a while, eventually you’ll get tired of it. Sounds like you’re getting there now.

    I’m a little surprised, for all the time I’ve spent online, that the ROI isn’t better.

  3. BOO!!!!! :p

    LTNS GH & G’Mornin!!! I hope your Tuesday is going fine.

    Hmmm……no wonder u didn’t reply to my email that I sent u a few weeks ago but I completly understand & I forgive u. 😉

    Hehehehehe…..u think being on the web on a comp is getting addictive? Let me tell u that an iPod touch is highly addictive. I’m always playing with my iPod & it picks up WiFi hotspots!

    Have a nice day & cya later! 🙂

  4. Hmmm….I’m being observant here. I noticed the posted time is still incorrect becuz of daylights saving time. My last comment’s posted time says 8:33am & it’s really 9:33am. Can u fix the posted time?

  5. I hear you, my friend, I hear you.

    BUT, in spite of all my time on dating sites, of my daily routine of Facebook/Flickr/Google Reader checking, I’m going to a trivia night this week.

    Really, I think the Internet time I have (even if it’s a bit too much sometimes, which, admittedly, it IS) is a way for me to escape the stress of my day.

    I agree with the other poster, though, who said that eventually, even sitting here, aimlessly staring at the screen for hours on end gets boring.

    Then, it’s time to go off and do something for YOU – like a hike.

  6. I hear you and I feel your pain.

    All I can suggest is prioritize and do your best to stick to those priorities.

    I try to restrict my on-line time to about two or three hours and I rarely succeed.

  7. When I was online dating, I could spend hours online looking at people’s profiles. And now it’s Facebook. Perhaps it’s the voyeurism that draws me in. But I understand how you can lose hours to the computer. Maybe you need to keep a kitchen timer next to your mouse.

  8. Tha interwebz is jush lobins youz xo]

  9. What the duck happened to my comment?? Argh.

    Okay, first I said something funny. Like “Meh, balance, schmalance. What are you? A libra?”

    Then I said you should introduce yourself to this girl. You’re not exactly compatible but she would introduce you to a whole lotta people.

    Plus she’s funny.

    Then I said that I did a word count and wrote you 706 words or 3,002 characters without spaces. Had I known you weren’t going to reply to my email, I woulda left out the spaces altogether! No, I kidding. Of course I don’t expect you to respond but maybe that whole back and forth exchange of communication thing would be a bit less isolating than your current hermit-ish activities? Not sure if it still counts though as we don’t know each other in real time?

  10. Balance is tough, isn’t it? Time to read & time to write ebbs & flow. It’s not so bad if you’re spending more time doing enriching online stuff.

    The previous comment From Mrs. B about being a Libra is hilarious!

  11. I want both time to write and time to play online. I think I’m going to have to quit working…

  12. BlakSpring – Hah! Nice quote!

    Phil – Luckily (I guess) games haven’t had too much addictive quality for me (except, of course, flash games). But you’re right, maybe I am getting there (he types into his blog…)

    DezertLamb – *blush* Oops. Check: no iPod for GH…

    DezertLamb – Yeah, you have to change it manually on WP. At least they cop to it: “Unfortunately, you have to manually update this for Daylight Savings Time. Lame, we know, but will be fixed in the future.”

    EastCoastTeacher – Um, yeah, but didn’t you tell me once that you checked stuff in the afternoon, when people like me are still at work? 😉

    Homer-Dog – I’m trying, my friend, I’m trying.

    MelHeth – Hmm… not a bad idea, actually…

    Narami – *grin*

    MrsChuckBartowski – Ugh, I know, I’m trying to get better. Maybe I should just start picking up the phone…

    Spleeness – Yeah, I think I need to retire now so I have the free time!

    JustAGirl – See, we think alike!

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