I’ve been having internet issues today – this was meant to be posted at noon. It’s thrown my schedule off somewhat and it’s really annoyed meeeeee-uh! Actually, I find myself troubled by my reliance on the internet these days.
When I was an undergrad, my laptop didn’t have Wi-Fi, I didn’t get Facebook ’til 2nd year, I spent time in the British Library photocopying research papers, and news stories were woven onto fine silk tapestries rather that “printed” on “paper” (I literally have NO WAY to check if the Bayeux Tapestry was sewn onto fine silk, I’m having to use the powers of my imagination to come to the most likely conclusion).
On reflection, I often feel sad about my internet addiction and wonder if I should unplug myself for a few days and get back to basics. But then our internet connection cuts out with no warning and I’m at a complete loss almost immediately – it’s been roughly an hour at this point and I am champing at the bit; eyes wide, lips pursed, drumming my fingers on the desk. Of course, this may also be to do with the extra strong coffee I inadvertently made myself just now, but without the internet HOW CAN WE KNOW?
There are piles of books around me right now just waiting to be read, and I already have all the notes I need to work into an essay, as well as the means to write a poem, so why the frustration? Why is that little yellow triangle with its stupid exclamation point bugging me so much?
The internet is a weird safety net for me, as a researcher. So maybe it’s a strange self-doubt that if I can’t check everything I write against at least 20 articles on JSTOR then maybe I’m just a liar with a student card? Or perhaps it’s a control thing. Like, I am the lord and master of the internet, so how dare it betray me this way? …and I’ve now made myself feel sorry for the internet. Sorry mate, you’re doing your best, I get it; you have too many masters and I am but one.
I’ve always tried to claim that I’m less productive when I’m hooked up to the internet, because I spend time doing stupid quizzes to find out, for example, which Hogwarts professors I would be (Professor Lupin, in case you’re interested). But besides writing this blog, I’ve spent some time pacing the flat while my boyfriend tried to fix the internet, I’ve plucked my eyebrows, made and drank aforementioned cup of coffee, cuddled Chumbo and stared aimlessly at the rising bubbles in a bottle of sparkling water. All very let’s-indicate-boredom-through-the-medium-of-a-movie-montage.
Aaaand, just as I near the finish of this the internet has quietly reappeared.
So, I had planned to try and write something vaguely topical about the potential fall of the civilised world depending on today’s US election results and what that would mean for my research, but instead I’ve gone on a rant about a more current, and perhaps more worrying catastrophe. Sozzers! I’ll get it together for next week and be like, super PhD focussed…provided the internet is working, because if it’s not, how am I supposed to do ANYTHING??
Do let me know if you ever feel the same way! Or not as the case may be…and if anyone wants the link for the Hogwarts professor quiz, gimme a shout. Similarly if you’d like to write a guest post, contact the SGSAH team on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on Twitter @SGSAH_