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I have always felt a bit restless – I’m a nail biter, a fiddler. I imagine my life will be better if I lived in New York, Mexico, Vietnam. I wouldn’t be so nagged by ennui. I used to feel jealous of cigarette smokers because they had something to do in awkward social situations. They could concentrate on rolling, lighting, inhaling, blowing smoke rings and – all that nervous energy channeled – they’d have the best conversations at tea break. Or perhaps they weren’t having the best conversations, but it seemed like that was where the party was going on. There would be disclosures. Upstairs we were talking about the weather.

Now I have my phone – I can look at it whenever I feel bored or uncomfortable. The party is there, somewhere – I see evidence of it on Facebook and Instagram, I eavesdrop in Twitter. I read amazing articles about interesting ideas by people I’d like to know. I read interviews with writers; I listen to podcasts with Zadie Smith. I read too many articles. I read ones that make me feel like a bad mother. I read about how I could become more productive, or how I should be less productive. I feel slightly nauseous with all the articles I’ve read, like Oliver Jeffers’ book-eating boy, who consumes so many stories that nothing makes sense anymore.

My whole family is addicted to the internet. Right now Violet and Gus are watching Netflix and Otto is gaming downstairs. At six o’clock we’ve taken to hiding the modem. It should be the only way to stop us from gobbling up data. But of course I have a mobile plan and I cheat.

When I am hanging out with other people I don’t check my phone or the internet so much. When I have a deadline I also suspend my obsessive browsing. But mostly I work alone, or else I am watching children climb trees or waiting for them to put their shoes on (do you know how long that can take?!) and the temptation is too great.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about this. I suspect this is a form of growing pains – what’s the difference between phone surfing and my old days of reading newspapers and magazines? Now at least the music news isn’t three weeks old, having been sent over from England and the US. I don’t think I notice less because I am always looking for things to photograph. But maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing anymore.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Caroline permalink
    18/04/2016 7:46 pm

    Fantastic post – I’m with you on this one, Sarah!

  2. Mary permalink
    18/04/2016 7:53 pm

    Like! 👌

  3. William permalink
    18/04/2016 8:17 pm

    Blame your parents
    Although their generation grew up with computers as tools, and your children grew up with computer based social media whereas you grew up up in a state of in betweenness

  4. Victoria Millar permalink
    18/04/2016 8:30 pm

    Love this post! Feel EXACTLY the same (so much so that I’m commenting… usually I just passively consume…) 9 am here in the UK, have deadline for 10, and am putting off starting work by checking email/ blogs/ ikea shelving/ you name it … what’s wrong with me?! Where’s my focus? Also realised I can’t get onto the kids about minecraft when I am always siddling off to check if anything’s happening in the world outside freelancing and children… someone must be doing/ saying something more interesting than me… right? Have been investigating ways to kick online addiction… online. Am thinking unplugging modem and sticking it in the back of the laundry cupboard might be the way to go. But I’m just going to follow up the links in your blog first… I can never have enough of those articles that make me feel like a bad mother…
    Always happy when I see the diversion of your blog in my inbox though! Keep going!
    PS I’m with you on the tooth fairy too! Ours is very erratic, writes apology notes in tiny handwriting that convince no one.

  5. 18/04/2016 11:01 pm

    Your recent blogs are so similar to things I’ve been thinking and talking about its starting to weird me out. I want to see how long this keeps up.

  6. thenaughtybookreview permalink
    26/07/2016 9:13 pm

    I’m exactly the same!!!

  7. bobbicasper permalink
    12/03/2017 10:06 am

    This is a very funny and clever read. You’ve inspired the blogger in me as well. All in one stop-by! Imagine!

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