Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remember Thou Art Mortal

Within the last year or so, I've taken two hiatuses from blogging here, one for three weeks and one for well over a month.

This past month, I was on a forced hiatus. My ISP had technical difficulties that involved a 24-7 work crew since the end of September, working to resolve the connectivity issues, giving me and everyone else in my vicinity that retained their services, access to teh Interwebz.

At first, I was apoplectic at the loss of my convenient connection to the world wide web at my domicile. In both instances of my past hiatuses, while I eschewed blogging, I was still plugged in and still reading on a daily basis.

But having no access to teh 'webz at home for almost a month has been quite the kick of cold turkey delerious tremens withdrawal mindfunks. At first, I spent hours compulsively trying to troubleshoot my computer, my network settings, my modem - broadband connection hardware and software, thinking the problem was on my end.

Then I called tech support for my digital corporate access provider in both India and the Phillipines, whereby I discovered my locally sourced portal to teh Interwebz had a total hardware meltdown and had to do a complete rebuild, and that they were so sorry I was experiencing these difficulties, but many thanks for my continued patronage of their services...they would certainly give me as much credit as they were allowed to without consulting upper management at their globally outsourced call center to compensate for any inconveniences I was experiencing due to the loss of service.

After that initial first few days of frustration, I changed my mindset and approached this drastic change of my daily routine (web browsing with my first two cups of coffee every morning), and embraced the opportunity of truly unplugged living.

I began reading actual dead-tree and ink books again. I also got busy taking on an exponential number of projects I've had on the back burner for years now. I truly did not realize how much of a time-suck reading, blogging, commenting and surfing teh Interwebz has taken out of my life until I was forced to log out for so long with no choice, and throw my effort into doing things I had previously constantly and consistently put off. Seeing my handiwork and effort producing concrete results has been rather satisfying, and illuminating as to the amount of time I've been spending in the past decade or so, logged on, plugged in and zombied out in a virtual world of reading and virtual socializing with a panoply of anonymous personalities in cyberspace.

More than a few times I contemplated closing my current ISP account and going with another service provider to regain immediate access to teh Interwebz.

But as time went on, and I found myself immersing myself in productive pursuits and I decided to turn my forced disconnection into a vacation from the dependence on virtual world immersion and just wait until the portal was repaired and my service restored.

After all, my friendly representatives and corporate customer service agents in India and the Phillipines had credited my account, so it's not like I was paying for a service I wasn't getting.

Then I got the call.

Another friend I'd known for years had passed away.

So young. So talented and full of promise. He helped me out more than a few times in the past, and I in turn helped him. He was a good man and we had shared good times. RIP Johnny.

Ruminating on his passing and our shared time together gave me quite the dose of morose contemplation. Being unable to connect to the 'net also brought a bit more clarity to my thought process.

Life is short. Much too short to waste so many hours upon hours staring at a computer screen, reading forums, blogs, news, watching youtube videos and indulging in other online distractions.

I think it's high time I emphasize getting back to cherishing and cultivating the personal, real life relationships with friends and family and all the other folks worth knowing and having involvement with, in the good ole IRL.

Time to get back to developing my talents and skills in my chosen pursuits and artistic expressions.

Time to keep doing what my sudden, unplanned vacation from internet connectivity inspired.

DO instead of reading or viewing ABOUT doing. Vicarious immersion and virtual affirmations are pleasurable pursuits...but learning knowledge in the virtual world and applying it to better your life in the real world does have a diminishing rate of return.

After awhile, your telling yourself that red pill immersion is a way of life and that one needs the constant reinforcement of logging on and reading and writing in the 'sphere of the politically incorrect zeitgeist of these fringes of the Interwebz to maintain the gains received from finding the ugly truth in a world of beautiful lies...but in the harsh light of stark reality, it really is nothing more than an excuse to continue spending time frittered away in front of the glowing screen.

My forced disconnect was the wake up call I needed.

My years spent on the 'net have been rewarding, illuminating, educational, inspirational and inspiring. They've also been indulgent, compulsive, wasteful and frivolous as well. From here on out, I will be consciously and deliberately striving to limit the worst aspects of my interwebz addiction and severely curtail my online time spent displacing productive and intrinsically rewarding behavior.

I regularly deride the palm zombies in my own mind every time I observe the pandemic of automatons compulsively peering incessantly at their smart phones everywhere I go in today's Brave New World Order... but am I really that much better off, spending four consecutive hours on my day off, sitting at my desktop PC reading thirty different blogs, forums, news articles and viewing a cornucopia of YouTube videos?

After all, If I had lived in the time before Al Gore invented the internet, spending as much time in a library reading in isolation and silence, lost in the ethereal clouds of infinite contemplation and would undoubtedly have a similar impact on my real world life productivity and interpersonal relationships, as it does sitting here constantly plugged into cyberspace, reading or banging away at my keyboard incessantly, instead of actually living a life worth living.

I'm pretty sure I won't be on my own deathbed, wishing I had spent more time online.