Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Late Night Rendezvous with The Internet

So, tonight I'm thinking about the internet's effect on my brain and how it may very possibly be shrinking my IQ, slowly but rather surely. For instance, after a long, arduous day of housewifery and motherhood, after which I am partially braindead, part of me wants to read that book I've been meaning to finish (i.e. start) and the other part of me wants to surf the net and read about where Scarlett Johanssen had breakfast yesterday. Additionally, I find myself trudging through the randomness of Hulu.com which offers a plethora of General Hospital and One Life to Live episodes as well as gems I've never heard of like Naruto Shippuden.

It's a strange tug of war that goes on in my brain in the evenings and to be honest, I often give in and waste valuable brain cells on pop culture gossip or on a television show I've already seen and don't really care that much about. And in the process, I fear, the internet wirelessly streaming into my computer (and subsequently, my brain) is slowly and painlessly making me less and less intelligent. Hm.

It's not that I want this to happen, mind you. I'd like to keep all those little IQ points that power my ability to form sentences and pat my head while at the same time rubbing my stomach (this valuable skill may, in fact, have nothing to do with my intelligence quotient). I dream of writing a book about an ordinary couple who drink large amounts of Earl Grey and have secret rendezvous at local Whole Foods Markets. And sometimes I imagine that I'll just stay up late after Matt and The Babe have "released me" from my aforementioned roles so that I can pen my great American novel. However, this never happens. Instead, I stay up a little late and end up on People.com. Argh.

So, to sum up, this post is simply me confessing to intellectual laziness and and an odd addiction to reading about the dysfunctional dating lives of people I don't know. It's also me documenting the apparent slippery slope I'm on that will eventually find me struggling to articulate anything other than what the Kardashians are up to. Ok, that's a little extreme because I don't really know that much about Kim, Khloe or Kourtney. But, seriously, I need to break this cycle and I can't hold out until Sam is 18 and off at college, leaving me with free time to pursue all those creative, educational and spiritual ventures I've been wanting to pursue.

Is it weird to dream about being in my fifties, my kids grown and off at college, and me at home reading all the books I meant to read and writing all the stories I meant to write? Maybe it's not weird, but it's definitely a little unnecessary and perhaps a little unrealistic because obviously, in my fifties I'll be running marathons and organizing large charity events and won't have time for silly things like reading and writing.

Well, friends, I've used up all the brain cells I have for this evening and need to shut this thing down. But, for the record, let it be known that motherhood uses copious amounts of the brain's resources and so, maybe it's ok to "veg out" a little in the evenings. There'll be time for intellectual pursuits one day, right? And, until then, I'm hoping you'll still be my friends even if the only things I can talk about are how many boxes of raisins Sam ate yesterday and what restaurant Jennifer Aniston met her mystery man at last night. Right? Please say yes.


  1. I think you're underestimating how much mindwork it takes to keep a child alive, happy, and stimulated all day. Consider the Internet a much-needed break in order to be refreshed for Sam and Matt the following day. Popculturegarbagegameshowcelebreality really do serve a purpose.

    Also, I want to read Nicholas Carr's, "The Shallows": Is Google making us stupid? When Nicholas Carr posed that question in a celebrated Atlantic essay, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?



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