Hunger and panic when the internet packs it in
It was the third day without internet that things really started to go pear-shaped.
We’d tried everything. The modem, the network card, the f—-ing wifi router. All had been plugged in and out, cleaned, hugged and yelled at but still our small sharehouse was stuck in an interweb drought.
How you handle the internet going down is the truly modern test of character.
Forget sports, careers, families and relationships. It’s belligerent firewalls and ISPs that truly separates the men from the boys. And we were failing the test.
Like feeding ourselves for example. With a few beers under the belt and an empty pantry, delivery pizza was the only option.
Google Domino’s, I said.
“Internet’s down you crumb.’‘
There was ten minutes of silence before someone eureka’d: “Yellow Pages!’‘
They were still sitting in our front garden somewhere, wrapped in plastic.
WTF. There’s no Domino’s under D.
“It’s under P eff-wit… for pizza.”
Why do they set it out like that?
“I dunno, it must be like the Dewey Decimal System or something.”
That doesn’t sound right.
“Ok now they’re saying they’re only doing pickup. We’ll have to get a cab.
What’s the number?
“Dunno. Check that big book.”
Is it under Y for yellow? C for cab or T for taxi?
This episode wasn’t the low point either.
Housemate A’s new hobby - nay addiction - to Youtube-ing trampoline accidents was going untreated and he was getting irritable.
Personally, I usually check news websites every 72 seconds and so was 3250 doses in arrears.
Facebook quiz’s were going undone, composures were being lost. Rumour was there was a photo of a guy on Facebook with his arm around my ex-girlfriend but I couldn’t check it. We were like a house of crack addicts climbing the walls. Hell, we couldn’t even eat.
Later I googled internet addiction. I googled the shite out of it. I found a piece in the American Journal of Psychiatry by one Dr Jerald Block of Oregon Health and Science University who says internet addiction is a clinical disorder.
Dr Block says there are four main telltale symptoms: losing all track of time or neglecting to eat or sleep. CHECK. Cravings and feelings of withdrawal including anger CHECK. Tension or depression when a computer cannot be accessed CHECK.
Also listed were lying, fatigue, social isolation and poor achievement. Checkity Checkske.
Dr Block claims too many hours spent online gaming, viewing porn or emailing can cause a compulsive-impulsive disorder.
“Unfortunately, internet addiction is resistant to treatment, entails significant risks and has high relapse rates,’’ Block says.
“Computer use occupies a tremendous amount of time in (an addict’s) life. Then if you try to cut the cord in a very abrupt fashion, they’ve lost essentially their best friend. That can take the form of depression or rage.”
Best friend huh?
The number of times i’ve woken up next to my open laptop instead of the open arms of a woman is depressing. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery I guess.
I wish I could tell you we didn’t take our laptops in the car until we found a neighbours wireless which wasn’t password protected. (For the record: Stealing internet is wrong. Would you steal a car?)
We youtubed trampoline accidents, indulged our relationship insecurities, DID NOT download all six seasons of Entourage (including actor interviews), and ordered pizza. Not one thing added to our education, contributed to society or helped another human being.
Addictions are destructive.
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