The Internet: Brain Sucking Distraction or Useful Source of Information?

I have really got to get a life.

I have purposely avoided the computer, trying to only focus on the job search thing twice a week.  But yet it continues to suck me back in.  Especially Facebook.  Something about looking at everyone else’s supposed fabulous lives helps pass the time?  Who knows.  I do know this-that I really need to stop googling everything and anything when I am online doing whatever.  Somehow I wind up on some of those forums that you’re not supposed to really look at when you are not quite in your right mind.  “I have been unemployed for three years, and now I’m dead.”  “I quit my job and my skin burned off”.  “I have been jobless six years and now I live in a toaster oven.”  Ok so none of those really actually existed, but they might as well have because that’s how I take them.

A while back I took a little detour through a nearby town to stop at a locally owned appliance place.  I haven’t had a working dishwasher in a really long time and my mother had offered to help either fix the one we have or aid in the purchase of a new one (I’m sure the mountain of dishes in the kitchen when she visited was a bit of a catalyst in that situation).  I’m bringing this up because all of my research about dishwashers took place on the internet, except for the guy at Lowes who was in his third day of work there and he really really liked Samsung dishwashers because he had one.  Not exactly scientific research there.  Anyhoo, it turns out that it does not matter what the product is, EVERY product out there has an I-hate-this-product website.  EVERY product.  They could make an appliance that pooped out solid gold eggs and someone would find a reason to complain.  Funny that the very dishwasher that is sitting dormant in my kitchen is actually one of the top rated ones out there, but people hated it just as much as any of the other ones.

I walked into the store with two wide eyed children, and the appliance guy looks me up and down.  I try to talk to him, explain my situation.  Told him about my dishwasher, made sure I made it clear that we had bought several appliances from them in the past and wanted some “expert” advice.  Then I opened my mouth and said I had been looking on the internet.  At that very moment, I think I made Hulk angry.  He proceeded on a ten minute tirade about how the internet is evil and that I should not be looking up, well, anything.  I think If I had lingered the villagers would have come out and burned me at the stake.

I politely thanked him for his time, turned and ran out of there as fast as I could.  This is why the big stores are doing well…

I had a point, and it was about the internet.  Anyone can post anything on the internet anywhere.  That’s what makes it so great, and so awful at the same time.  If you need information on something you can get it quickly, now whether it’s correct or not depends.  The same goes for an opinion.  Or pretty much anything.  You seriously can type in just about anything and something will come up.  Not so good for an anxious person.

If you’ve been hunting for a job anytime recently you have probably noticed that EVERYTHING is online.  EVERYTHING.  Even a job at Casey’s is one you are directed to the internet to apply for.  I am not so proud to say that I will never ever be hired for a job at Kum and Go.  I am a very intelligent person, but I can’t pass their test.  And you can’t take it a second time.  Every job I have applied for this time around has been online.  That’s just how it is.  Good for me as far as the convenience-I don’t have to leave my home as long as I have the internet.  Bad for me in the fact that they most likely skim over my application and toss it in the trash.  Or laugh hysterically “Bwah ha ha!  How dare someone with a music education degree apply for this job?” and light it on fire.  Oh wait, it’s probably all digital-doubt they actually print them out.

I have several websites I check twice a week.  Ok I TRY.  It’s been a bit more often.  I can’t help myself.  I don’t know why-when jobs are posted there is a week or two to give people time to apply.  I also have done the networking site LinkedIN.  It’s where you “link up” with other people to try to get as many connections as possible.  A lot of the career websites highly recommend it.  I don’t quite get it, but I’m willing to give it a try if it will increase the likelihood that I might get a decent job.

Back to the forums I keep coming to, usually about 11:00 when I should be heading to bed, or doing something more productive like reading a book.  Much like the whole appliance debacle, there are many different stories out there.  There are the success stories, and then there are the people who I wish I had never read about (that would be the guy in the toaster.)  The fact is, I can try as hard as possible, but it may be awhile before I get a job.  And what if I DON’T find a job?  What’s the worst that can happen?  Not us homeless living in a cardboard box, or me exploding (somehow things exploding always work their way into my anxiety).  My husband has a good job-we won’t be doing great but we will get by.  I honestly don’t WANT to work full time right now.  My kids are still young-part-time so that I can contribute would be GRAVY right now.

I want to get past all of the anxiety about the whole situation.  I really want to just enjoy things and take it as it comes.  I don’t want to simply exist, I want to enjoy life again.  But at the moment I can’t.  Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment to address the sleep issue.  Finally-I lost my insurance when I lost my job, and now that my husband has insurance again I need to get things taken care of.  And as much as my husband does not want me to take meds to help me, this is something that as much as I would like to conquer on my own that I may not be able to.  If the doctor recommends it, I think I need to do it.  Does that make me a bad person?  No.

On an up note, this week has been one of the better ones for exercise for me.  Today the whole family participated in a walk for my husband’s work.  Between my morning walk and that one, I did over 5 miles in one day.  I am tired, but I feel really good.  This is the kind of thing that I want to get back to doing.  I used to be religious about it-before I had kids.  Now, not so much.  I want to do things like this again-also reading, writing, and GETTING AWAY FROM THE INTERNET (except for this blog, of course)  Maybe getting to the doctor will be the start of some good things.  And I can get back to being the semi-funny semi-fit fully conscious person I used to be.

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