It's not hours or days or even weeks, it's months and months that I've lost to the internet, to the false promises of the next notification, to the endless search for more information and more content in endless news articles and blogs and videos and whatever else seems important, tumbling out in unison over never-ending tabs and windows and devices.
The brain loves the internet, because it convinces us we're getting knowledge, finding the secrets, amassing the tools.
I'm a creative guy. I get inspiration in three ways:
All three of those have been hugely interrupted.
By Facebook. By Twitter. By emails.
It's not that I 'love Facebook', as some friends have suggested, it's that I'm convinced the next email is a last minute opportunity or a great job I can't turn down.
But of course, it never is. And even if it was one of those things, I could still pick up the messages once a day.
My default action when bored or between activities is to check my phone. THAT'S NOT WHERE I WANT MY BRAIN TO BE.
The technology came along because the technology came along. They built what they built and we ate it all up.
It's probably part of natural evolution, our brains will learn to multitask, we'll manage to be race car drivers who simultaneously tweet jokes while buying antique chairs on eBay, but for right now, it's hugely getting in my way.
I can't concentrate on movies. I can't keep my interest in the person opposite me when my phone vibrates.
My brain constantly darts into action. But rather than screaming 'write the script you've been wanting to write all year', it screams 'check Google News to see the latest updates," and 'check Facebook to see if anyone has liked the video.'
I am stuck in a habit loop that makes me unhappy. Yet my brain, so ingrained with habitual phone-checking, mistakes the momentary pleasure of a Facebook 'like' with my real goals.
I want to read more. I want to write more. I want to be PRESENT around other people, and in other places.
It should be a simple choice, but it's not that easy. That's why I'm writing this. I can't pretend I want to watch a movie right now when all my brain wants to do is check Twitter.
I need to reclaim my brain. My passions. Myself. I need to focus on bigger goals.