Internet Affective Disorder

By Sherry Morris

I used to be addicted to email. I loved all of my Yahoo Groups. The Bee Gees, Perry Mason and General Hospital fan loops. Romance Writing loops. Homemaking loops. And personal emails from epals I met online, family and friends.

I checked my messages a gazillion times a day. I was always typing witty responses, and congratulations and perk up posts, I always tried to make everyone feel positive, because they are worth it. My family had to wait in line for the computer and for Mom.

Something weird came over me around September. I lost interest in the Internet. I'd only check my messages three times a day, and more often than not, I'd read and not reply. Even to personal messages that deserved replies. I'd get to them, in a day or few or week or a month or so. Then I'd have to come up with some sort of explanation/excuse as to why I so rudely delayed responding to my beloved pals.

In with my New Year's resolutions, I actually scheduled a day each week for each group. I figured I could reply and contribute and boost up everyone that needed it at least that often.

Guess what? That lasted one day. I really have lost interest in the Internet and I don't know why. I had so much fun when I was in the thick of the World Wide Web. Nothing happened to turn me away, no flames, no embarrassing faux pas on my part (that I'm aware of).

It is now a chore to go through my messages. I'd much rather spend time with my kids, hubby, dog, bird and DVR. But the thing is, I really do need to reconnect and network, because I'm an author and because I don't have any neighborhood pals. But I'm bizarrely not interested.

Has this ever happened to you?

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  1. Liz Jasper // January 21, 2008 at 4:16 PM  

    I'm tempted not to comment in show of solidarity.

    Yep, I've felt it too. Sometimes it becomes a chore and my interest ebbs waaay low. I just lay off a bit and get back to it later.

  2. Nightingale // January 21, 2008 at 5:51 PM  

    It happened to me and lasted about a year. I think it's the way we have to stretch our time these days. Or maybe you got your priorities right--family, dog, etc.

    Writing is such a solitary pursuit.

    But your public awaits!

  3. Sandra Cox // January 21, 2008 at 6:56 PM  

    I get tired of all the group.yahoos. They're sometimes a necessary evil.

  4. Cinthia Hamer // January 22, 2008 at 8:06 AM  

    Sherry, as you can probably sense from my shadowy presence, I'm not exactly a big Internet "ho".

    I work a job that is more than full time, I'm trying to write and get published, I have a husband who's as needy as an over-eager puppy...

    I have one forum that I visit first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and I check my email the same way.

    If I have a day off, I'll play a bit online, then settle down to write.

    So don't feel guilty. Use the internet as a tool and eventually, as life cycles, you might find yourself eagerly approaching your computer each day once more.

  5. Joanne // January 22, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

    You are finding interest and joy in your "real" life--your family, animals, etc. I'd say your priorities are perfect.

  6. Beth Trissel // January 22, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

    I agree with Liz. I decline responding as a show of apathetic unity. :)

  7. Mona Risk // January 22, 2008 at 12:31 PM  

    Sherry, I think you are burnt out. You did too much too fast and now you're simply tired. I feel the same sometimes. I rest for a day and go back at it.

    I comment on a lot of blogs, answer hundreds of e-mails, and waste hours just skating through my e-mail box. I see many writers going through that and consider it a necessary obligation of the writing job and the effort to sell books. But I'm still trying to reach a balance between writing and living.