The internet has completely ruined me. I don’t mean that in the arrogantly semi-sarcastic way that over-privileged twentysomethings often say it to convey that they are somehow above the social trends of their young adulthood. I mean it in the way that I, as an over-privileged twentysomething, say it to convey how the tools of the modern world have completely crushed any sense of normalcy that I was desperately clinging to during my teenage years.
I have a lot of obsessions. One of them, which I think that some people will be able to relate to, involves having to remember specific random facts that seem to arbitrarily pop into my head. For example, while watching a movie in the theater, I might see an actor I recognize. If I can’t remember his name, I have an overwhelming urge to know the name of this person. Before smart phones, for example, I would be forced to do nothing but sit there until my anxiety over not remembering his name was eventually quelled by whatever obsession would eventually replace it. Now, however, all I have to do is pop out my phone and annoy everybody in the theater. However, with the knowledge that any answer is in my pocket, the urge to take out my phone over every little thing becomes very strong, and I’ll often force myself to take it out about every five minutes or so, completely ruining my movie experience, while simultaneously exponentially increasing my overall anxiety and pissing off everybody sitting within five miles of me.
Outside of the movie theater, it’s no better. Wikipedia and IMDb are the two worst things ever created. This is taking grape flavored Gatorade, Ticketmaster convenience charges, and text messages that your phone failed to send, but you don’t realize it until three hours later after calling your friend and yelling at him for not answering your text into account. I don’t know what the future of technology will be, but if it continues along its current trajectory, I will be in a mental institution by 2014.
I loved the days when looking up driving directions to a girl’s house, I would have to print them out from MapQuest, and then try to read the pages while driving in the dark and crashing into a wall and then having my mom print out and run me new directions to the hospital. I hated those days.