I’m sitting happily in front of my computer checking my email, catching up with friends on Facebook and generally busying myself with the myriad of essential (or not so essential) computer related daily minutiae we all experience. Nothing unusual about that, I hear you say. Well, no there isn’t except I sat down for just a second to open my email on my way to the kitchen at 7.00am and I’ve just realised it’s now 11.30 and I haven’t moved. I’m still in my pyjamas, unshowered, dishevelled and peering myopically at the screen as I haven’t even bothered to find my specs. A moment’s panic follows! How did that happen? Where have the hours gone? Berating myself, I jump up, run to the bedroom, make the bed, dash through the shower, pull on some clean clothes and just as I’m making my way to the kitchen to finally enjoy my first cup of coffee for the day, I hear the sound that always stops me in my tracks …”ping” and like Pavlov’s dog I am drawn irrevocably towards my laptop.
I’ll just take a quick peek to see that it’s nothing vital.
No! No! Just ignore it, you know you can.
Yes, I’ll put the kettle on, make coffee, do the washing and tidy up and only then will I look at the email.
Yes, that’s what I’ll do!
With a new sense of resolve, I fill the kettle and switch it on. I feel like an addict desperately craving her next fix but I resist the alluring call of my addiction valiantly! I even load the washing machine and set it running and then, just as I think I’m gaining control I hear it again, the irresistible sound luring me, calling like the siren … “ping”. I’m lost!
I’m sitting happily in front of my computer checking my email, catching up with friends on Facebook and generally busying myself except now it’s lunchtime, the kettle is cold, the washing lies wet and limp in the machine and I still haven’t had my morning coffee.
The most common addiction of the 21 Century may well not be drugs, alcohol or even shopping … it may be the need to be constantly connected via cyber space – the time thief!