I’ve seen other bloggers coming up with gimmicks to get you offline, such as “Don’t Blog Day” and other nonsense. The point of these special days is to make you go outside and smell the fresh air, maybe even do something “green,” like get you to water a tree.
This post is not about the environment. Let someone else write about that. Go outside and spray pesticides if you want. I’m not concerned about the health of our planet right now as much as I am about the mental health of those on the blogosphere.
I first wrote about this “Internet Smog Check” a month ago. I had just brought in my car for the yearly test, as is required in California. I wondered if I should also test myself once a year — making sure that the internet wasn’t turning me into a crazy person? I wanted to prove to myself that all this virtual “smog” from this online world wasn’t affecting my brain, and my soul. Sure, I had fallen in love with 28 different women in a six month’s period, and had taken photos of myself bare-chested, parading around in the bathroom, desperately crying for attention. But, it could have been worse. I have never ONCE sent anyone a photo of my private parts. I didn’t embarrass my family… too much. I’d engaged in pleasant, but nonsensical, conversations with people of all races and religions without ever resorting to ethnic slurs like “Whitey,” “China Doll” or “Yarmulke Head.”
Clearly, I am normal.
But shouldn’t I test myself at least once a year to make sure I don’t have a small addiction to the internet? I thought about this for a day or two, and then dropped the idea completely.
On Sunday, I was in Manhattan, walking around aimlessly, window-shopping. I had an appointment with some friends later that afternoon. At a certain point, I stopped in at some ritzy coffee bar on Lexington Avenue. As I was drinking my coffee, I watched as some Hunter College student was reading her Gmail on her Macbook. I could feel the energy and jealousy build up in my body.
“I want to check my email!” I screamed to myself.
My mind drifted to a state of worry and yearning.
“I wonder if anyone wrote me an email today? I wonder how many people wrote comments on my blog? I wonder if one of the comments is stuck in the spam block and the blogger is going to be pissed at me, thinking I erased it?”
Sadly, I am too cheap right now to own a blackberry. I use my phone… as a phone. So I had no access to the internet like some of you junkies who walk around checking your email every five seconds.
After my cup of coffee, I kept on walking, still thinking about the virtual life that was going on in my parallel universe — this online world that was suddenly more real and exciting to me than walking around Manhattan. Sure the girls looked very pretty as they left the Guggenheim Museum, but not ONE of them took off her bra and threw it at me! Don’t these girls know who I am?! Don’t they read any blogs?! Women online are so much more… uh, EASY…
I hoped that I would stumble upon an “Internet Cafe.” Did they still exist? Here I was in the middle of NYC — a city with thousands of things to do — and my mind was pondering what Schmutzie wrote on her blog today. That’s right — some blogger from Saskatchewan! F**king Saskatchewan. That place would not even make a dot on that “New York” map/view of the world. If I had asked a passing New Yorker to tell me about Saskatchewan, one would answer –
“Isn’t that the bridge that goes to Jersey?”
My mind drifted further –
I walked past a Kinko’s/Fed Ex/whatever it is called now. Bingo! They had a “business center” where you can pay six dollars every ten seconds to go online on one of their germ-covered PCs.
So, I did. The Kinko’s PC quickly grabbed my VISA card. I then promptly spent the financial equivalent of a decent lunch on the Upper East Side to spend ten minutes on the Citizen of the Month administration page and delete three spams about “sex nostradamus sexy video.”
It was then that I accepted my internet addiction.
I asked my, “Could I go offline for 24 hours without jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge?”
I answered, “I’m not sure!”
I tried a test run on Twitter yesterday, and let me tell you — it was hard. I rushed back online as soon as I could, and blabbed to everyone how superior I was to their addicted, flabby asses. That was, until some hotshot noticed from my profile that I had only left Twitter for 23 hours! Jerk.
The uber-talented Secret Agent Josephine made these badges. Normally, bloggers want the masses to use their “badges” because of the link love. I am a bit of an idiot who forgets about these rules, because I am going to make it SO difficult for ANY OF YOU to get one of these badges. In fact, I bet only 1% of those reading this right now will ever be allowed to have one.
In order to get one of these beautiful badges, you must stay OFFLINE for a full day — from when you wake up in the morning to the next morning 24 hours later. No email. No blogging. No Google. If you need the internet for work, tough. If you go online to check your bank statement, you screwed up. It is that hard. No pussies allowed.
If you don’t want to put up the badge, no problem.
How do you get a badge? You email me, telling me exactly what you did all day, proving to me that you did not go online ONCE during that 24 hour period.
Only then can you announce to the rest of the blogosphere that you are not a addict who needs help.
And believe me, most of you NEED help.
Now, excuse me while I catch up with your blogs on my feed reader. You are my crack.
Update: Read this: Would you quit interacting on the internet for ten million dollars?