People commonly use the word "procrastination" to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working
It’s hard not to think “death drive” every time I go on the internet. Opening Safari is an actively destructive decision. I am asking that consciousness be taken away from me. Like the lost time between leaving a party drunk and materializing somehow at your front door, the internet robs you of a day you can visit recursively or even remember.
I dont generally go in for hysterical visions of technology, but when you start to think about it, the ubiquity of screens, the incessant escape from one place into another, the secret passageway of iPhones and BlackBerries, the glazed, ubiquitous expression, I-am-here-but-I-am-not-here, is a little unseemly. Say your train of thought, as you are reading to your baby, goes something like this: Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. J.Crew summer sale 20% off, can you turn in the piece by Friday? Apologies, xx, should we meet at 6:00 at your place? Goodnight bears. Goodnight chairs. This moment suddenly seems to contain within it the entire decline and fall of civilisation...
Myself, I’ve set up a second computer, devoid of internet, for my fiction-writing. That’s to say, I took an expensive Mac and turned it back into a typewriter. (You should imagine my computer set-up guy’s consternation when I insisted he drag the internet function out of the thing entirely. “I can just hide it from you,” he said. “No,” I told him, “I don’t want to know it’s in there somewhere.”)
"What you have to do," he explained, "is you plug in an Ethernet cable with superglue, and then you saw the little head off it."
If you forget what you’re doing with your mind, almost inevitably you also forget what you’re doing with your body.