It’s not a creative or novel thought, as all on the internet must be, but being online can be exhausting.
I have spent most of my life living on the internet. I may have pared down social media usage over the past few years, but that has not stopped it from invading most aspects of my existence. It often feels like an overwhelming presence when I’m 42 tabs deep into a rabbit hole of focus, or just trying to catch every link that someone tells me is interesting and worth my time. Sometimes it feels like a bit of an addiction when the wifi is down and I’m not able to see everything right away.
This isn’t meant to be a denouncement of being online. I’m here, and you’re here too. But it is exhausting sometimes, isn’t it? Like hey, let’s make someone the character of the day and stalk, harass, and send death threats to a guy on a couch and the friends who defend him. Let’s decide that someone is a serial killer based on nothing but internalized transphobia and ideas of what is acceptable for someone on TikTok. Or any other number of times on social media where people find large audiences in being amateur criminal analysts, amplifying nothings to the point that everyone involved gets hurt.
I know that we’re not getting the mythical internet of good vibes only, where we lift each other up and never tear one another down. But perhaps we could find some way to just revel in the profundity of memes, and the ability to share things with the world and hear back from people who you’d never have met in the past.
In the meantime, what should we do? I keep trying to define my relationship to the internet, and I’m finding it hard to pin down. I’m not even sure that it’s possible at this point. I’ve had internet access for the majority of my life, and I’m close to being one of those millenials that are described as digital natives, never knowing a world without. Sure I purposefully choose plenty of time to be offline, but that’s in part because I can sense the health issues that it causes.
Do you have any tactics that you use to keep yourself protected online, personally, mentally, or emotionally?
If you made it this far, why not share this newsletter with a friend? Or share with me some of the things that you found that you liked this week. Either way, I’m thrilled!