Seriously. I can’t read anymore. At least not like I used to.
I have the attention span of a goldfish hooked on amphetamines. Every time I try to read anything — a blog post, the newspaper, the back of a ketchup bottle — I get lost. I have to re-read a sentence four times just to get it to sink in.
It’s not fair. There’s a sad stack of half-read books on my nightstand, waiting for me to come back. Some have been waiting for over a year. Some will wait forever.
Man I used to love to read. As a little boy I’d fly through five books a week. My favorite escapes were kid-friendly, condensed versions of classics, like Treasure Island and Kidnapped. I could sail the seven seas every night and be back in time for school the next morning. I was the biggest Robert Louis Stevenson fan in my 4th grade class. I was the only Robert Louis Stevenson fan in my 4th grade class. I was a nerd. With plastic-framed, tiger-striped glasses.
But that was a long, long time ago in a land far, far away from here.
Now I don’t read so good. And it’s all the Internet’s fault.
Especially Facebook. I actually blame Facebook for everything. But seriously, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, LinkedIn, Deadspin, and the slew of other senseless sites I feel the need to waste my brain space on — I hate you. (And I love you.) You have turned a once avid reader into a jumpy, jittery scanner, constantly skimming but never really consuming.
Sure, I might have a touch of the A.D.D. I see shiny things and squirrels everywhere. When I’m talking to you I’m typically twelve miles away less than 30-seconds in. But it’s more than that. I honestly believe the Internet broke my brain.
And I know I’m not alone in this wandering wasteland. We’re all pounded with non-stop noise every waking moment. The Internet is busting at the seams with crap the brain thinks it needs. And it all moves way too fast. I was halfway through an article the other day and it literally became old news right before my bloodshot, screen-strained eyes. When is enough, enough?
So, if it’s broke, fix it, right?
I deleted the Facebook app from my phone about a week ago. I’ve downloaded it again several times, but it’s back off. For now. I’m hoping small but potentially life-changing moves like this will eventually help me find my focus again.
Throw in a little mindful meditation here and there, maybe sprinkle in some Ginkgo Biloba, and I’ll be sailing the seven seas again in no time.
But first, I have to upload this blog post — to the Internet.