Internet Induced Stress
I'm more stressed out than ever and it's because of the Internet. The Internet has not made my life easier; it has caused me more stress. The Internet stresses me out in numerous ways. I find myself constantly anxious because of the Internet. Some days I wish Al Gore (just kidding!) never invented the Internet. I want my simple existence back, where snail mail was exciting and reading a magazine was a fun way to stay current.
Email is constant stress for me. I can never catch up. I just counted and I have almost ten email accounts - yahoo, school, gmail, personal, work, hobby, etc. This doesn't even include email that is contained within web applications, like facebook, twitter, athlinks, etc. I constantly feel stressed out because I may have missed an email or owe someone a reply.
Online access to my finances stresses me out. I check my balances, payments, performance, etc., all the time now. I have access to my 401k, checking account, all my credit cards, IRA, investments, water bill, electric bill, phone bill, etc. I check these things all the time and they simply add to my stress, especially when I look at my investments.
Social Networking Stress
I belong to facebook, twitter, athlinks, linkedin, hubpages, etc. There is not enough time in the day to keep up with all these things. I've been accused of ignoring people because I didn't respond to things as silly as a "poke" in facebook. I never talk to anyone on the phone anymore, it's always via email or a social networking site. These sites merely add stress to my life. I constantly feel like I may have missed something. I also fear being labeled antisocial or being kicked out of a group because I don't participate enough.
I'm not a true gamer, but I do play World of Warcraft (WOW) and I have invested a significant part of my life into my character (Horde, of course). The problem is that I'm a "casual player" (everything is relative). Although I like WOW, it causes a great deal of stress too. I am constantly kicked out of Guilds because I'm not "there" enough. I also have friends (well, enemies in the game) plotting against me, but I do not play enough to get great armor and weapons to possibly defeat them. I also forget how to play properly sometimes and I'm chastised in the game by true players for my lack of skills.
I work in Information Technology (IT) and everyone seems to have a chip on their shoulder about proving they know more than you about what's going on. It's sort of an "intellectual dick fear", as one of my coworkers put it. People will ask you if you heard about the latest thing Microsoft is doing and if you don't know, they scoff and look at you with this expression like "uh, you should know this". It's like an unplugged life is unacceptable. The more I'm unplugged, the more stress for me, because I have to compete and relate to people that are constantly "plugged in".
I pretty much do all my shopping online. I use amazon, peets coffee online, and just about any online store I can find. I can't stand the mall or shopping in public. I even tried ordered groceries online for awhile, but that was too much of a hassle. Although convenient, online shopping stresses me out because I spend too much money. If I want to buy a book, I simply search amazon, add to my cart, and check out. My credit card, shipping preferences, etc., are all saved, so it takes less than five minutes. I do this way too often and it stresses me out. If I had to drive to Barnes and Nobles, look for the book, stand in line, etc., I probably wouldn't spend as much. I have even been enticed to buy amazon's recommendations for me. Amazon knows my taste almost better than me!
The Internet causes me a great deal of stress. I yearn for the days of simplicity. I often think about unplugging, but I'm not sure if I can unplug and still function in society. The Internet has assimilated me now I can't live without it. It's like a drug and I need a cure. What do you do though when everyone you know is on the drug? You can't relate when you're the only sober one.