I check my email about sixty times per day. Subconsciously, I knew this—I knew my thumb has this impulse, this innate desire to click that damn email app—but it’s different now that I’ve kept track. It’s realer, more tangible: the cold, hard facts of my Email Addiction.
I honestly don’t know what I expect. I’m not waiting for anything, at least nothing life-altering, like college acceptance letters or job offers or lottery results. In fact, I’m a notoriously terrible emailer— even if I receive an email immediately, it takes me days (if not weeks) to actually conjure up the energy to respond. There’s simply no justification.
There are other habits, of course:
Friday: I spent the entire day on Google Documents. I’m honestly a little confused; I don’t remember actually accomplishing anything on Friday. It appears that’s the extent of Friday’s internet activity.
Saturday: My day was dedicated to Canvas, email (checking, not responding), and Netflix—your college student trifecta. Shocker.
Sunday: You might say I “branched out,” though even that assessment is generous. I scoured the internet for internship opportunities, downloaded applications, and jumped between REI, the Sierra Trading Post, and Bivouac websites for backpacking equipment— I’m participating in the New England Literature Program (NELP) this spring and the equipment list is a beast. There was certainly Facebook involved, for no particular reason.
But what concerns me most is not my limited use of the internet, or really even my email addiction. It’s when I use the internet— in the morning, late at night. Whenever I want to make my mind numb: bored enough to get out of bed in the morning or tired enough to fall asleep at night.
And I’m aware that, buried beneath mind-numbing facebook browsing and tweet reading and snapchat sending, the internet is expansive—limitless and thought provoking and content rich. I’m aware of this like I’m aware of adulthood: it’s a sort of detached awareness, a yeah but it doesn’t apply to me awareness.
Only it does apply to me. It’s out there, and it’s infinitely more compelling than my email. So why, exactly, do I now reach for my phone?
Old habits die hard.