How To Keep Off The Internet

You’re not going to like it, but could you really be less happy than you are now?

Photo: Kit

I try my best to understand those in whom the inability to avoid the Internet is so irremediable that they need outside assistance to prevent themselves from seeing what idiot meme, poorly constructed argument or distressingly predictable thinkpiece is making the rounds at any given moment. My sympathy is best engendered by remembering that the atomizing nature of modern existence leaves many of us bereft of emotion, so anything that engenders a reaction — even one of anger or disgust — offers an ineluctable appeal to those who have been inured to passion and are desperate simply to feel, no matter how cheaply.

I suppose telling people to just stay off the Internet is a lot like telling an alcoholic to just not drink, except with alcohol at least there is the sweet relief of pleasure as your body grows warmer and everything around you becomes more pleasant, your cares drifting away while your ability to find joy in even the most unlikely of circumstances is so greatly improved that the saddest of situations can still be an excuse for celebration. Oh my God, alcohol is the best, I’m sorry I compared it to the Internet — a cold, lifeless mass made solely of spiky edges that only makes you feel worse about yourself and everyone around you.

Anyway, my point was there are things you can do to keep yourself away from the Internet if your willpower is lacking or your degree of self-loathing is so large that you subconsciously seek punishment by subjecting yourself to the horrors online all the time. There are a number of solutions here, or you could try this real-life low-tech aversion therapy solution: Each time you want to look at the Internet, stick your dick in a drawer and slam it shut. (Here is where you might say, but what if I don’t have a dick? Good news: This exercise is unnecessary for you because not having a dick you start off not being a fucking idiot, plus society has conditioned you to feel unpleasant about something at all times, so you can just make that your Internet-going-on equivalent.) If after a few sessions you are still tempted, take a Sharpie and write the words “The Internet” on a hammer and the words “me and my will to live” on your balls and then smash the latter with the former. (Born without balls? See above.) If after all of this you still can’t keep away from the Internet I have a solution involving wet fingers and light sockets but that is really such an advanced-level class that I feel uncomfortable giving away its secrets to just anyone. Follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my Tiny Letter for more.