Archive for the ‘internet’ Category

I had a stand off with a man who came to the library and not for the books

September 7, 2012

First I found out how easy it is to reserve a book. Just enter the name of the book you’re looking into a form field on the internet and click to hold the book at the library closest to you. The all you have to do is go to that library and head on down to the hold section and the book is waiting there for you. With your name on it. This is a regularly scheduled public service announcement.

Then I was reminded that there are not just books at the library, oh no.  You’ve also got access to you lastest magazines  wrapped up in plastic covers and red bindings out on display, like in the subway station, only you can look inside. I picked up whatever latest dish there was on Suri and Kate and trekked it along with me into the philosophy room just for a little peak before I started writing. Did she sign a contract to keep quiet about scientology in exchange for a quick and easy divorce?  We may never know.

Finally, it was nice to learn that the library is up date, technology wise.  Can I plug in somewhere, asks a woman standing at the info desk with a laptop and an ETHERNET cable coming from the side. No, you have to use the air, says the man behind the desk, giving a little wave with his hand around his head to demonstrate.  Ok, it’s a little spotty, but who needs the internet when you’re surrounded by knowledge already!

But just as I was getting comfortable downstairs in the fiction section, sitting on some cozy cushioned chairs I found over by the circulation desk, a guy sat down across from me. Or not across from me, rather, but across from the girl that was sitting next to me, also in one of the six cozy living room like chairs. And when he did, he started to moan like there was something down his pants and he liked it.

My neighbor seemed to disagree. Did you hear what was going on, I asked him, after the man got up and left. The man shifted in his seat and seemed like he wished I would go away. Because I wasn’t sure what to think about what was going on, I said. So I was wondering what you heard.

He was talking to himself, my neighbor said, and he shrugged.

Like, no big deal. The moaning didn’t really distract him like it distracted me. For me, I started feeling gross at the bottom of my stomach like I needed to find a new room. When I got up to leave, the moaner got up too, and gave a little laugh like he had won.

Listen. I went back! Because when you need inspiration, and not the kind that involves a sinking feeling in your gut, they’ve got shelves and shelves of the stuff. On one break I picked up Eckhart Tolle’s, A New Earth, from the shelves and found the perfect quote to start a post on my addiction to knowing the future before it’s arrived:

But also because the library is a place I can go to hear myself think.  And for someone who likes to listen more to what people say about me than what I think about myself this is a gem of a situation.  So much so that I’m not going to let a little moaning get in my way.

Here’s the quote for those of you who can’t wait for after the weekend.  The gist of the story will be something like how I started reading Susan Miller one day and ended up as one of the people who would justify your crazy stories by telling you that’s just what someone with your rising sign would do.  That’s right naughty Scorpios, I’m talking to you.

Gnothi Seauton—Know Thyself.

These words were inscribed above the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi, site of the sacred Oracle. In ancient Greece, people would visit the Oracle hoping to find out what destiny had in store for them or what course of action to take in a particular situation. It is likely that most visitors read those words as they entered the building without realizing that they pointed to a deeper truth than anything the Oracle could possibly tell them. They may not have realized either that, no matter how great a revelation or how accurate the information they received, it would ultimately prove to be of no avail, would not save them from further unhappiness and self-created suffering, if they failed to find the truth that is concealed in that injunction—Know Thyself.

Did you make it to the end of these five paragraphs or more?  I’m dying to know.  Leave me a note to say hi, or tell me the NYPL you like to visit best.

Spend the first hour of the day offline

July 24, 2012

Today the NYtimes profiled tech companies who feel kinda bad that they bank on the surge of dopamine we get when we use their products.  After a week of limiting my own daily dose, I found out that spending time any other way felt like an incredible chore.  The W, it turns out, sucks your time not because you don’t want it to, but because giving up your time to something that wants it desperately is part of what feels good.

I realized that when I check my email in the morning I usually get disappointed.  There are some times when I have one, maybe two emails that I care about in my inbox.  Some of those require responses that are hard and so I don’t respond right away.  Then I start the day dreading how I’m going to respond and when.

So tried out spending the first hour of the morning without my trusty devices.  No email, no text message and no blogs either.  Just me and a bunch of blank note cards to fill in with ideas about how to spend my time in other ways.

By lunchtime I had actually done something I cared about instead of  just committing to events and projects I probably wouldn’t have time to complete.  By afternoon, getting back to emails felt fun.  And by the early evening I remembered that the internet is, like, for entertainment.

The nighttime was pleasant.  As I lay in bed, tucked in under my covers, I felt as if the day had come to a natural end.  And there had been so much of it that I had been present for too.

Some people will find this crazy because their lives depend on emails from others as soon as they wake up.  Other people will find this crazy because their lives depend so little on what happens online.  I’m curious to know – are you either of these types of people? Or is an hour of no W every morning just right for you too?

Emily Vs. The Internet

September 13, 2011

The internet is to blame for my inability to trust myself.  I’m sure of it. If there was a webpage that someone else made dedicated to my life I’d probably change myself to fit the page.

Why can’t you get off the computer already, I ask my boyfriend? Meanwhile I’m curled up around my iphone watching videos on home remedies for acne in the T-zone area.  How many different options does one need to find the best way to apply olive oil as moisturizer?

Are Aries and Aquarius a good match, a co-worker asked me? I don’t know, I’ll do some research, I answer.  Do some research?  What kind of purple tight wearing internet addicted kind of crazy have I become?  Why don’t I just ask the Aries and the Aquarius at the table what they think?

Part of my Myer’s Briggs profile is introverted thinking, aka know it all.  Surfing the W creates new thoughts in my head that are not raging with to-do lists.  But only yoga and meditation have encouraged me to feel on my own in a quiet self reflective manner.

So I decided, no more internet after 8pm.  It’s like Mark Bittman’s vegetarian before dinner only flipped around:  I can binge on as much internet as I want all day long. The evening is for home, friends and events – not fusing my brain to the screen.

Stay tuned for posts about clipping my toe nails, making collages and torturing the cat.