Why is it, why the BLOODY HELL is it, that whenever I have a lot to do, or a train to catch, or somewhere to be at 6.00 pm, I find myself continually in my pyjamas with unbrushed hair, looking at strangers’ photographs on Facebook?
It seems that the ratio of how busy you should be, and how interesting things on the internet are, are in direct correlation. Something I would ordinarily have absolutely no interest in suddenly becomes fascinating/highly important if I have ten minutes to wash the dishes, get dressed, and be out of the door to catch the train. It must be a mechanism in my head. If I know I should be doing something vitally important, I’ll suddenly become enthralled with the holiday snaps of the sister of someone I spoke to once when I was at college, six years ago. In my defence, as all of my friends, peers and school colleagues are now around twenty-five, there is a constant influx of wedding photographs, baby photographs, status updates and relationship changes to make me insanely jealous, so that when I should be straightening my hair and putting on my lipstick, ready to go out the door, I’m seething with envy that someone from school has just had their third child and got engaged. It isn’t fair. The internet, and particularly social networking, preys on the vulnerability of the emotionally unfulfilled and the lonely.
I’m not alone in this. One beauty of Facebook is that at three o’clock in the morning, on deadline day, when a two-thousand word assignment is due in a mere few hours and I’ve only written a one-hundred word introduction, I can take comfort by the fact that at least ten of my classmates will also be awake, will also be equally behind with the assignment, and will also be trawling Facebook, looking for distractions.