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Getting Absorbed Into The Net


Some days, I find myself spending more time on the web than usual. Previously, extended web surfing would wear me down and get boring. The minutes would drag by. But now for some reason, I find myself losing track of time.

I'll think of something that needs to be done, and take care of it. Then I'll check on something. Then my attention will be diverted elsewhere. Pretty soon a couple of hours have gone by, and since I wasn't even paying attention, I'll wonder, "Didn't I just sit down?" It's a really bizarre feeling. It's like waking up.

When you go for a drive, and your mind is elsewhere, you may have a similar wakeup experience when you snap out of autopilot. Up to that point, everything that was necessary to keep you driving safely and smoothly was engaged, minus your memory. So you're taking in information and making decisions about when to turn, when to slow down, when to signal, and when to stop. But you're not really thinking about it, or keeping track of all the minor details. And then when your focus finally does come back to driving, the general feeling is, "How did I get here?"

The other night, I was on the web for a few hours, and for the first time I had the online version of that experience. I had taken a TV break a few hours prior, and when I "woke up" at the keyboard, I thought to myself, "Where have I been for these hours? What have I been doing? Didn't I just get up and start working at the computer? Did I watch more TV than I had intended?"

The truth of the situation, I believe, is that I had finished watching TV right on time, and gotten back to the net, but for some reason I "lost myself" in it. I haven't lost myself in any activity in quite some time. I've heard how it can be exhilarating, but this was more of a mild surprise.

A few years ago, I was playing the original MegaRace PC game. It was a lot of fun. There's a setup screen on a background of a futuristic cityscape with a pink and orange hue. One night I dreamed that I entered the game through the portal of the computer monitor. I was traveling through the advanced sunset-colored city. It was wild. And now, in a way, I'm one step closer to living that dream!

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