Addicted To Nothing

We are addicted to nothing. Wait, let me rephrase that: we’re addicted to being addicted. No, that’s not really it. We’re addicted to “the next thing.” Or more accurately, the “next bunch of things.” What those things are is irrelevant. We actually don’t care about their substance. We just care that they are:

  • Brand spankin’ new
  • Never seen before
  • Unknown
  • Not old
  • Fresh

We’re addicted to the delta; to the unread stuff that we haven’t found yet that constantly flows at us from seemingly everywhere.

Doesn’t this:

  • Inbox (11)

Look far more satisfying than this:

  • Inbox

Look how pale and skinny the empty Inbox looks. Nothing new to offer. For all we know, most of those eleven new messages are either spam or drivel. It doesn’t matter. They’re brand new. They’re an unopened gift. They’re yet another little surprise. And most importantly, they come from other people. Nobody cares about new stuff that comes from machines (not yet at least).

If your inbox is cocaine. Twitter is crack cocaine. It feeds the same beast far more effectively. The constant-ness and ever-newness of Twitter is what makes it so wildly popular. It’s not about the substance of each of those tweets. None are very life-changing. It’s about the sheer volume of stuff that is constantly produced.

I follow 50 people on Twitter. With all due respect to this esteemed group, nothing anyone says is very interesting. Wait, some of it is sort of interesting…for a moment. Sometimes I smirk. Sometimes I click through to a link. But generally speaking, it’s all a bunch of frivolous bullshit coming at me. It’s stuff flying across the CNN ticker constantly. Developing Story. It never really stops developing does it? It just goes on and on.

And yet I’m hooked. I’m hooked to the delta of stuff that I’ve missed since I last checked. As soon as I consume it, it’s all old and stale and I get hit with a tinge of sadness. That’s how addictions go I guess.

I’ll just have to wait for another hit.

7 Comments Addicted To Nothing

  1. Liam

    The ironic part is that I react to this with the same ennui I feel for every other article I’m linked to on the internet.
    And then I’ll go check twitter again.

  2. Marlon

    Adding to the article, the best thing for todays generations is that they dont have to do nothing to get hit.
    More important than what we are addicted on is how we react to that addictiveness that we find.
    What is most annoying is that the generation of these days is pretty much happy for being that way, for felling that way.
    You can easily say that every person using internet today is, in some way, addicted in the way you say.
    You hit the spot right there, congrats for that.

  3. Ron

    That Ben dude is ignorant. First of all, how is this a PROBLEM at all? It’s, at the most, an amusing observation. Secondly, this is not a phenomenon reserved exclusively for US Internet users. Nearly everyone in the entire world that uses the Internet (likely including you, Ben) feels this way about new e-stimuli. It’s a part of human nature.


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