I still feel like I’m too connected at times. In our house now, there are periods when everyone, all four of us from the youngest to oldest, are plugged in. That electronic tether is strong, probably because it is interactive, and mimics social interactions.
However my personality is such that sometimes I need to be away from people, away from routine, away from the constant movement, expression, communication, information, stimulation, etc etc etc. I think that we all need that to degrees depending on the person, but for me maybe a little more. External stimulation exhausts me, literally. My brain needs a break to process “in the background.” Before the internet, when you left company, you really LEFT. You didn’t feel the need to pick up the phone and call AGAIN the same day that you just saw one another. It was natural in fact, unless you were in the same neighborhood or worked together, not to communicate with that person for whatever length of time passed till you communicated again. Life in its “dumbness” took over again after your interaction. And that was fine. Normal.
But now, every damn minute is filled with either taking in information, or giving it out. To who the hell knows, not just those you do know. It’s so strange. It’s like we’ve all been thrown into the publishing world, with readers, and we have to keep up our little projects, even if they’re just a labor of love, or a way of organizing your thoughts and sometimes getting feedback on that. Such an external world, but in a sense, filled with introverts who never meet in person, but have plenty to say despite all appearances.
After getting immersed in this now for about 4 years, I’m still learning how to normalize it. Make it work with who I was before all this. One thing — I MUST never look at the internet just to kill time. It leads to obsessive behavior. And anxiety. And depression. And loneliness. The internet feels very close sometimes, but you realize that without physical presence, the relationships are difficult to “consummate.” If someone you are friendly with lives thousands of miles away in a different country and a different time zone, it’s a miracle you communicate at all, that you found this commonality. But as time passes, and you continue to never meet in person, it feels like you are communicating with a ghost through a ouija board, a ghost who materializes sometimes, and other times well – no one is at home.
It’s all very strange. And I don’t think it is a substitute for person to person interaction — one day, one has to meet one’s pen pals in person for the reality of the friendship to sink in. So you know that the person on the other hand is not, in fact, a ghost.