Adam Wood writes about the allure of returning again and again to the internet to cure boredom.
And so the huge internet cog spins endlessly, driven by the momentum of the uncountable smaller cogs belonging to its every user: individuals, corporations, bots, advertisers, data-harvesters. I might lean my mind forward with the intention of contributing a little input to the whole — the slightest impulse of momentum. But, in doing so, I’m met with billions of other minds and wills, all doing the same thing: feeding the whirr, the dizzying spin. It’s not a fair fight. Any single human mind is outmatched by the architecture of the modern internet, because it has been built and tuned precisely to ensure that we repeatedly subject ourselves to its perpetual motion. Why wouldn’t we engage with a machine built to stimulate, and which requires so little effort from us in return? Lean forward your minds one and all; don’t let a good limbic system go to waste.
Wood takes a break from the internet in the autumn and winter. He doesn’t go full on “strict monasticism” but drastically curbs his usage of the overwhelming megalith of always-connected technology. It’s an interesting practice. I wouldn’t take it on at this point in my life, but I may adopt some of the principles in a less ascetic way.