by eugene kudashev

this very long text is one not quite fleshed out reflection on the state of the internet circa early 2021 which i would very much like to share nonetheless

so, i'd like to suggest that there's two very different modes of processing information: "regular time" and "internet time"

(1) regular time is when you're watching a two-hour movie and you're not bored, not for a moment

(2) internet time is when you stop watching a 15-sec video after 6 seconds

what happens with (1) is that you're not getting distracted, not checking your phone, and so on. in this example a movie could be replaced with pretty much anything: a book, a phone call with friends, etc; the most important thing is no context switching for an extended period of time

it appears that internet time is much more stressful and exhausting: i feel as though i'm a mesh strainer, and i have to filter and make sense out of this infinite super intense stream that would never stop, and i'm constantly looking for something (what is it exactly?)

in the internet time, the articles are not read from beginning to end as was supposed by their authors (and their editors) — rather, they're "scanned" (if the headlines are clicked on at all) — and there's this constant feeling of searching, running, an ever-elusive goal

the wonderful paradox of it all of course being that (in my opinion at least) anything that's experienced in regular time — like an hour of uninterrupted reading, an hour spent with a friend in person without checking instagram, etc. — in other words, anything that's experienced as a result of intense concentration on ONE THING is way richer, more fulfilling and satisfying and pleasurable — incomparable with the satisfaction and pleasure derived from 10 very funny memes!

and, similarly, even working on one thing for an hour or two or three in a row, distraction-free, is also much more enjoyable than to be constantly switching between 3 tasks and 19 Slack chats every 15 seconds

and as enjoyable as this whole regular time business is, it's getting harder and harder to get into it with each year

probably this is my very subjective experience (a direct consequence of being extremely online since 2003, or "terminally online" as my friend Anna Savina puts it) and i'd love to find out how it works for everyone else, but for example reading serious fiction (as much as i love reading serious fiction) requires serious effort — as well as finding emotional energy for watching a two-hour movie