For the past few months I've been on maternity leave. You know what that means? That means that for the past few months I haven't been elbow-deep in the Internet, devouring story after after article after Facebook post about everything ranging from Kim Kardashian's eyeliner to what this person I was kind of friends with in high school ate at brunch. (I didn't say I was high brow.) And you know what? It felt gorgeous. It felt liberating. It felt freeing as all hell, like I had all this extra space in my brain that I totally forgot existed. I felt ... human. It was never anything I intentionally set out to do -- quasi-give up the Internet -- it just came with, you know, having a baby. And now that I'm back at work -- and back to reading stories about people who allegedly stab their significant others over crap that's on their Facebook page -- I have an entirely new perspective on things.
Rhonda Roshell Washington of Texas was recently put in jail for allegedly stabbing her husband during a fight. The supposed cause of the fight? If you ask her, the argument was about his drug use. If you ask him, the argument stemmed from something that was on his Facebook page.
Now. Who knows what the actual cause of the fight was, as you know what they say about versions of the truth, but the fact that Facebook was even brought up as a possible cause is ridiculous. And, if my pre-maternity leave memory serves me correct, a fairly common cause of arguments that turn violent.
Some people just can't handle the Internet. Plain and simple. I think not only can it make perfectly sane people go a little nutty -- or at the very least, a little scatter-brained, it can make people who may have a propensity towards violence or simply just meanness, well, snap. It's almost like it releases something that lies dormant in certain people.
Here's what I realized during my online hiatus: The Internet isn't real. I mean, it's real in that I'm typing in it right now, and you're reading on it, but it's not real. It's just a bunch of words and pictures and emoticons and whatnot. It isn't your actual life. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Internet -- I work for the Internet -- and I know I could never "quit" it for good. But it's nice to be reminded every once in a while that there's a world outside of it that isn't a wide web. And that's the one that should get the most attention; that's the one that should have the ability to anger us or make us happy.
I know, though, it's much easier said than done.
Do you ever let the Internet "get to you"?
Image via greychoice/Flickr