Monday, June 22, 2009

Constant Novelty

xkcd posted a comic last week that I want to write about. Specifically, I want to talk about the first line. "Constant novelty saps my initiative."

You've probably noticed that I don't update as often as I would like or as often as I have promised. When I get home from work, I usually turn the computer on and check my E-mail, several blogs and a fair portion of webcomics. I have tried to blame this on OCD before-after all, it is a routine and has some of the characteristics of a ritual. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing it's abnormal behaviour.

Checking the same websites several times an evening for updates does strike me as a bit odd. Admitted, some websites have fixed update schedules, and who wouldn't want to fall behind in our modern fast-paced world?

I don't think that I have an Internet addiction. I don't spend an excessive amount of time on the Internet, and I have gone long periods without any use of a computer at all. If it is OCD, I don't quite get it. What exactly am I obsessing over? And why exactly do I feel compelled to alleviate this obsession? What even am I compelled to do, exactly? I find it more likely that the Internet just offers too great a potential for distraction.

It's easy to go to a favorite website and a find a link to something new and interesting. Then you find another link, and another, and the cascade begins. It is simply too easy to fall into the trap of constant novelty.

I wonder if without the constant novelty, would I be better off? Would I have written that novel by now? Would I have performed better in school? Would I be blogging more? (On the Internet!) Or would my life be less for the enrichment and new ways of thinking that the Internet has exposed me to?

[I'm going to end this here or I'm going to start rambling. I've already had to police myself.]


The Digital Cuttlefish is posting again, so I've returned his link to the sidebar.

I've also added a new poll. Look for the review of Inferno next.