My computer seems to have become my best friend and that's scary. It's also not quite true, but the elements are there. I now turn to the little silver box on my table for entertainment throughout the day (especially if it's raining). It's a wonderful procrastination tool against housework and other such dull chores. I read emails and messages and facebook several times a day, enjoy an ongoing game of Scrabble with my brother, watch TV programmes on iPlayer while eating lone meals (when I used to read), buy whatever I want online and waste a lot of time looking for the best deal, look up information on just about anything that flits into my butterfly mind, know what's going on in the lives of all sorts of people, some of whom I've never met and some of whom I haven't seen for years . . . I could probably go on but I'm beginning to bore even myself. You get the picture.
My little silver box is a wonderful thing in so many ways. And yet it has its dark side. If the Internet's not working I get really agitated. Things are going on without me! I might miss something! Oh no, I can't look and see who else is sitting at their computer playing Farmville or whatever! Hmm - getting a bit obsessive here.
And that's the thing. I'm kind of obsessed.
I tend towards being a receiver rather than a giver online. Blog posts are few and far between and Facebook and Twitter updates are sporadic, mainly because I don't believe folk can be remotely interested in what I'm doing most of the time. But wait a minute - I love reading about what they're up to, I get a buzz when someone I've been thinking about communicates. I worry if they haven't blogged/twitted/facebooked for a while unless I know them to be on holiday or somesuch. I panic if someone 'unfriends' me on facebook - what have I done to upset them?
I'm letting the little silver box take over my life.
A few years ago I took a conscious step back from the little silver box (it was a pretty blue box called Bluebell then) because I recognised this obsession in myself. In those days it was Instant Messenger and I would sit of an evening or an early morning 'chatting' to several folk at a time. It began to take over. Some people seemed to live in my computer. Every time I opened it up they were there, wanting to talk. It had to stop.
But now, it seems half the world shares my obsession. If I back off, I'm actually in danger of worrying lots of people who really care about me. It's all gone much too far to back off, and anyway, I love it! If I wasn't writing this blog post, I'd be forced to go and hoover the stairs.