What did people do at work before the internet? If the only episode of Mad Men that I’ve seen is any indication, it looks like they smoke, drank and had secret office sex. Unfortunately, the internet came around and ruined that for us. Today, most of our jobs require us to sit in front of a computer screen for the majority of the day. In a job like production,* where you often work 12 hour days, the internet is an integral part of that day. It sucks you in and time disappears. Suddenly, it’s 3PM and that email you wanted to send at noon is still just a draft. I don’t stand a chance against resisting the internet’s allure. For me, it begins early the morning when I wake up to 45 new messages in my inbox; rarely are they anything work related/from friends/not automatically generated. I’m an email slut – I give it up to anyone who wants it. I’ve tried unsubscribing to some of the emails, but only to ones I never signed up for in the first place, like diapers.com. Hitting unsubscribe is just too risky in most cases; I’m not in the market to travel to Cambodia this year, but what if I write a mockumentary on the Cambodian killing fields and I need a luxury hotel to stay in, and I miss out on a great discount because I carelessly unsubscribed from one of my luxury travel emails? What then?! I still don’t have enough money to afford the hotel at full cost, it’s my first paid project!
I have to give myself credit though, I’ve really toned down my online shopping habit…mainly because I don’t fully understand how a post office works. Do I get in line or can I drop the package off and leave? Can I get the postage I need from these self-serve machines? Do I BYOB (box)? At my previous job, there was a box labeled “Out” and when I had items from my impulse online shopping to return, I just placed them in the aforementioned box, and they soon disappeared. Minimal effort required. But, I can’t get rid of my many, many shopping emails. There may just be a day I need something and if I paid full price at a department store instead of on getting it online for a discount, I don’t know how I could live with myself.
The one daily newsletter I read that actually contributes to my intelligence instead of wearing it away is a news briefing email called The Skimm. It simplifies the daily headlines and talks to me like the uninformed girl that I am. Before The Skimm, the only thing I knew about Syria was that it was a country that’s name sounded like the word syrup.
After I read about worldly matters, my focus starts to wane. I click on articles and I get about two sentences in before I lose my focus. I move on to top 10 lists on sites like Buzzfeed, which require the bare minimum of my attention. I then peruse my myriad of groupon-like sites for the best deals. I wonder how I could justify getting this party animal dancing speakers and I dream of the day when I’ll be able to factor “funny crap” into my overall budget.