I would like to take s short few moments to talk about a phenomenon I have found myself suffering from for the past few months. I haven’t got a name for it and I am not even sure if it something that other people suffer from. I haven’t even got a word for it. I think for the sake of making this memoir easier to write I will call this phenomenon the Thortex: A portmanteau of thought and vortex.
What are you on about I hear you ask? For ages now I have found myself sat infront of my modestly priced yet perfectly workable laptop that I bought mainly to pursue my dream of being a writer. I place it on my specially bought desk and I stare at the screen for minutes at a time. I looked at all the self bestowed ‘todos’ in my mental planner and I find myself doing the one thing that I never thought I would do… absolutely nothing. I tell a lie, while my mind drifts into the comfortable yet damning Thortex, my eyes and ears need something to give them a hint of stimulation, this makes me stick on a Youtube video or find a website that I can stomach looking at for the time it takes me to procrastinate myself into oblivion (Even as I write this blog post I found myself clicking on a mindlessly themed video about impressions.)
What has caused this? How has a young passionate ‘sort of’ creative been able to slip into a never ending pit of procrastination and pointless media consumption? Is this a normal trait inherited by all millennials as a result of of exposure to easily attainable entertainment? And what exactly has happened behind my back while my eyes have been distracted by the never ending barrage of content filling up my Instagram feeds and YouTube recommended lists?
My main theory is one that I’m sure many people will relate to: Fear.
When I left university I felt my confidence drain from me like I have sieve holes lining my skin. I had felt that I hadn’t prepared for the real world whatsoever and as a result I had to go through what I like to see as a two year boot camp for over fed nitwits like me so I can learn about what life is really like. During my time in the real world I realized that there were no do-overs and there certainly was no adults there to pick you up when you fell. I knew this and I let fear take me. I then escaped into the world that other people were creating online. I would live vicariously through there over documented exploits. I would pseudo travel to all of the same places as all of the gap year loving daily vloggers. I would consider watching a science show research and I would consider watching TED talks a means of attendance. I was living other people’s live through technology because I was scared to do it myself. Scratch that, I am scared to do it myself.
Another theory I have is one I feel is unique to people who are pursuing creative lives. They say when you do something you love for a living it isn’t work. Yet sometime that very act can seem like a chore. More often than not I find that counts with my writing. my dream is a dream that I cannot turn of yet when I find myself faced with a blank page and a day off I find that I do literally everything in the world but write. Does this mean I am not a writer? This blog post may argue in either direction.
I suppose one thing I should take as a source of comfort is that in the face of this phenomenon I did one thing right today. I looked at all the videos I could waste 10 minuets at a time watching I could have taken my phone off of its charge and looked at barely dressed cosplayer son my Instagram feed, but I didn’t. I opened a new tab. I came on paulkempblog.com and I wrote this. And no matter how many videos I watch after I click post, I can say I turned the phenomenon into something I can be proud of.
What about you, dear reader? Do you ever find yourself using a tools as amazing as the internet for things that are at best arbitrary and pointless? Do you feel your dreams slip away slightly after a day of zero productivity? I would love to hear what you think.