Treating the Internet like a Higher Power...
I don't currently have a satisfactory way of framing the concept of a Higher Power in my life. (And, yes, I have read countless suggestions about ways other people have made this concept work for them...) That being said, I realized recently that some of my obsessive web searching is not that different from desperate prayers tossed out into the Universe. Something within me has tremendous faith that there is information on the Internet that will save me from my anxiety, guilt, procrastination, etc. Emotionally, I am drawn to this search for the Holy Grail of transformative self knowledge. But is that a reasonable thing to believe? Is this searching a reasonable way to spend my time?
Between using the Internet addictively to "take the edge off my anxiety" (hmm, sounds like the reasoning I used to use about having a glass of wine) to using the Internet as if it were some sort of Higher Power, I am losing countless hours per day. This is not acceptable. But what would "Internet sobriety" even look like?! I don't want a life in which I feel like I can't Google things that spark my curiousity. I gave up alcohol completely because I couldn't drink in moderation. I do NOT want to have to give up non-work-related Internet usage altogether just because I am weak willed and afraid and using the Internet in an inappropriate way any time I'm anxious... Right now I'm so far behind at work that it feels like I don't have any time that I can designate as personal time during which playing on the Internet would be acceptable. And even if I did have healthy work/life boundaries, do I want to lose my personal time to mucking around on the Internet?
It seems intrinsically unfair that giving up alcohol wasn't enough. Apparently I have to give up all the other tools at my disposal for escaping the mess I've made of my life. I hate this trapped feeling. Now would sure be an exceedingly convenient time for my Higher Power to introduce itself to me. My worldview is so rigid right now that I don't know if I could even "hear" such an introduction. Then again, I apparently had some sort of unreasonable faith in the Internet as a source of salvation. Perhaps some healthier form of faith will start growing within me if I stop trying to find all the answers and solve everything on my own? Let us hope.