I have enough self-awareness and general wisdom about the place of the individual within the grand scheme of things, and the place of the grand scheme of things within the individual, to know on one level that most things don’t matter enough to make a big deal out of them. One of those is the luxury of owning the magnificent technology of today’s home computers, and being able to do an astounding amount of things with them through constant access to the internet. It’s amazing how I’m able to do what I’m doing now, how I can access a broad library of entertainment at the click of a mouse button, how I can communicate in full vocabulary a seemingly unlimited length of words, possibly even by audio or video, to the couple billion people who have similar access. Astounding.
But when that’s taken away even slightly – when my home internet provider is having technical issues (evident by the number of failed attempts to unplug the modem and/or router and plug them back in, and by the busy signal I kept getting on their customer support line) – I freak out and think that my life is ruined, that this is cruel and unusual punishment. I try removing myself from that myopic sense of entitlement but if there’s something that just shoots up my irrational energy of hatred and rage it’s that. And when my six year old desktop or four year old laptop freeze or need to be restarted or restart on their own. Oh my, do I get mad.
Last night, when the first of those two scenarios happened, I vented about it to expend the frustration on Twitter via my phone. Yes, I could still access the internet because my mobile provider is a different carrier, and again in this AMAZING modern world with INCREDIBLY ADVANCED consumer technology I can access almost the same range of things from my phone as I can from my computer. Last summer I was having the reverse problem – I had frustrating phone issues that had limited solutions, while my home internet connection worked fine – and I was crying on the phone with tech support. I knew at the strongest level of my thought process, the one that guides me for the rest of the day with rational judgment and a relaxed attitude, that it wasn’t a major threat to my survival or even my quality of life, and there would be solutions. But I still cried, and last night being confident that it was a widespread issue that the service provider would fix as soon as possible, I still wanted to throw things at walls.
I contain myself, by the way, aside from crying which I usually can’t control. I don’t hold anything against anyone, as much as I love to scream at inanimate objects. Irrational reactions are just the fight response to sudden stresses, and they’re very much a part of our human ancestry for the sake of survival. It’s physiological. But I don’t know why, amongst all other things that don’t bother me or don’t light my fuse, the internet tempts me into fits of so much destruction.