Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It takes a lot of effort to avoid the garbage, the incessant flow of mind pollution that the internet (just like the TV) brings into one's life.
This pollution bombards you against your will, while you're trying to engage in wholesome, meaningful activities. Examples of pollution: ads, popups, objectionable search results, and commercials, particularly the kind that remind us of the lowest human attribute -- lack of self-control.
Not only that, but spending time with the imaginary world of the internet (or the TV) means you're not spending time with actual flesh-and-blood people.
Like it or not, we are social creatures who need real human contact in order to survive. Remember Harlow's rhesus monkey experiment, where the baby monkeys failed to thrive without a loving touch? Or the institutionalized Romanian orphans of the 1990s or feral children throughout history?
Clearly, our development and progression depends on real, physical contact with real people.
Furthermore, doing things online (or watching TV) means you're not creating anything. Hell, the internet is even worse than TV, because with TV at least your hands are free for crocheting or something.
In fact, being online too much creates a kind of half-life; you seem to be living but not really. Really, you are sitting in front of an electronic box.
All your beautiful consciousness is directed into it; all the miraculous synapses of your brain are working on this imaginary scenario. It's a black hole for consciousness.
For that, blessedly short, period of time, it seemed as if my life consisted mostly of doing laundry, folding it while watching soaps, and preparing and cleaning up after meals.
No writing, no studying, no artwork, no creating, no photography, no traveling, no parties, no lunches with friends.
Back then, I called my sister in Texas and told her I was feeling depressed. She asked me to describe my day. When I got to the part about soaps, she stopped me. "Hold on, we've identified your problem," she said.
And she was right. I turned off the TV and never looked back.
But here we are again, with a different little box of commercial messages and commercially motivated hooks for the human spirit.
I feel depressed. Should I call my sister and describe my day?
P.S. Here's an article about a couple whose four year love affair has been carried out entirely on Second Life.
P.P.S. An unsatisfactory little article about a study looking at a link between Facebook and depression. More studies like this are likely to arise.