I have a little problem with the internet. It's connected to my argument problem, which I discuss here, but a touch more generalized than that.
I like The Real World. A lot - I'd rather be in it and participating in The Real World than stuck behind a computer. I actually hate computers and have a hypothesis about how they play a role in depression and anxiety in modern culture.
And I do. I genuinely do participate in The Real World at every opportunity.
|Peter's mid-deployment leave last October, when he, his parents and I visited a petting zoo at a pumpkin farm.|
|Another shot at the petting zoo, this time with my mother in law. It was sweet for everyone to go because I realized as we were looking at all the animals I was the only one really feeding them and petting them.|
|Halloween with my nephews. I dressed up. The one on the left is Alex; I'm holding Nicky. Nicky plays a surprisingly large role in my life.|
My problem is, as I see it, that I worry that people find me uninteresting. The idea that there's billions of people on the internet and the vast majority really aren't interested in anything I have to say is disturbing.
I don't have a whole heck of a lot of friends. I mean, I have friendly colleagues, my friends from church and people from high school I see sometimes. But, at the same time, I don't have a lot of "real" friends: people I see every week who really, really know me.
But I do have some. Tom is one of them.
Yesterday Tom and I went for our weekly coffee. We do it literally every week; sometimes with my father in law, but usually alone.
This week we added a new dimension: chess. We talk about everything over coffee, but chess was particularly fun because we both love to play games.
Tom - like church, like my nephews - gets me away from the computer and out to where I'd rather be.
But I get lonely during the week. Maybe that's absurd; I don't think so. I also want to talk about things that make me really think.
While you might think a scientist gets to think a lot, in reality it's mostly just like every other job: a beancounter sitting in front of a computer organizing and plotting things like databases. Maybe 5% is actual thinking, and I've found that 5% is the worst bit because it can really get you into trouble.
|Me in my old office with the broken whiteboard. This was before I got my new office with a window. It was taken last summer, which is why I'm not wearing nice cloths.|
So I tend to use the internet as a distraction as well. I keep looking to it - like I look at religion - as a solution to a problem. When I don't know what to do, I go into Information Gathering Mode.
I could ramble more like this, but I think I'll just stop here. It may become a regular blog post: Escaping the Black Vortex of the Internet.