The Internet is my friend.
The internet tells me fascinating stories about a Celtic warrior queen name Boudica, and a dead man on a beach named Taman Shud.
The internet shows me pictures of The Voynich manuscript and the Bayeux Tapestry over coffee while we discuss how the seeds of our current fascination with all thing apocalyptic have deeper roots in history and culture. The internet reassures me that the world is not coming to an end.
Or maybe it is. The internet doesn’t know for sure.
The internet tells me that there are many out there who are ADHD like me. Together we’ve read many fascination article about the co-morbidity of Dyslexia and ADHD. We've studied brain scans of the ASD, and the ADHD, and together we’ve marveled at the complexity and diversity of the human mind.
The internet wonders if I have Lupus. Not Lupus exactly, but something like Lupus with the same symptoms and maybe even worse than Lupus, if such a thing is possible. The internet doesn’t want me to freak out or anything, but it thinks maybe I should get that rash checked out. Not that doctors know anything. The internet can put me in touch with a dozen people who have exactly the same mystery disease that I have. We can talk at four in the morning when we can't sleep about our mystery disease and how doctors have routinely misdiagnosed us. Insomnia is a symptom of our mystery disease.
When I try to work, the internet rings a little bell to let me know that someone is thinking about me. Sometimes it’s a text, sometimes it’s an e-mail or a mention on twitter. And it makes me happy. I try to work, but I have many charming and clever friends I’ve never actually met, and if I ignore the little bell, I could miss something one of them has said. I am Pavlov’s little dog, waiting for the bell to ring so I get my fix of happiness.
The internet is not always the best friend. Sometimes it laughs at me. Like last, week, when I posted a picture of a huge life event on my Facebook pages and no one liked it, and I was convinced that I had zero friends for about three hours and I was super sad, until I realized I hadn’t actually posted the picture on my public feed.
“Dumb ass!” The internet said. “Always check your settings.”
Then I had to go online and post on other people’s Facebook and twitter feeds just to make sure I still existed. And I ended up feeling better, but by then I had burned a day, and I got no work done on my novel.
Sometimes the internet is like a kid who comes into your room first thing in the morning when you’re asleep and asks: “Are you sleeping?”
And when you answer “Yes”, the internet says:
“But you’re talking, so you must be awake , and as long as you’re awake you could check your e-mails and —ooh, here’s an interesting article about the lake Nyos disaster, and how lake overturn could happen again in lake Kivu and millions would be at risk. Someone should writer a novel about that.”
It does no good to tell the internet that you are a contemporary YA author, and this is out of your bailiwick. The internet is full of good ideas for starting new novels. Not so much for finishing old ones.
I love the internet, but I think we’re spending too much time together. I need to see other people. I think I will invite the internet back on Friday. But not before. I need to get something done.