The Internet Gives Me ADD

Photo by Kevin Ku on

I guess I don’t have nearly as much self-control as other people.

They don’t set limits on their phone, computer or social media use, yet they all seem to be normally functioning human beings. Why is it so hard for me? Why is it just me?

Maybe I ride too much in the middle. Maybe I’m too much on the fence. One side says “stay off technology, it’s bad for you.” The other, the majority, screams “the internet is a good thing!” Maybe I’m enough on the one side to know the dangers of tech, but still keep my toe dipped in it enough to physically feel the effects themselves. Maybe I need to pick.

Well, I’m not picking technology’s side.

I suffer from a mild case of ADD, but I don’t take any meds. Keeping a clear mind and staying on topic are both really important for me. And really challenging. When I was tested, I was told my IQ was really high, but my reading speed was in the 15th percentile.

This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I CAN’T HOLD A THOUGHT IN MY HEAD FOR LONGER THAN FIVE SECONDS! At least it feels like that. With a mind like mine that has trouble focusing already, the last thing I need is the constant distraction and stimulation I get when I go online.

I know this all too well.

But still it calls. And I answer.

I answer while the thought “I’m not supposed to be doing this” goes through my head. If you asked, I’d say I’m conflicted. If you observed, you’d say “that guy loves his technology.”

When I was a kid I went through phases. I’d get really into presidents, and my parents would buy me books and puzzles, and I would read and play. About a month later, I’d become disinterested and move on.

Nowadays I go through phases every other day. They get quicker and quicker and quicker until I — I can’t even remember what phases I went through last week, much less what I did with those interests.

So, I try to control myself. And I maintain a “healthy balance” of time on and offline. I’m beginning to think that the only healthy balance for me is no time online and all time offline.

I can’t read online. I realize that’s a strange sentiment to put in an online blog, but it’s true. I can’t. Well, at least, I can’t really read something. I can skim it, and I can even comment on it. But I can’t read it. Try as I might, my brain just reads printed text and screen text differently. I’ve even gone so far as to copy and paste the text into a word document and go into “focus mode” where the only thing on the screen is the text. Still nothing. I still can’t focus. How can you? I don’t get it.

If I’m really interested in reading a blog post or an article, I will print it out. Then I’m fine. On a physical page, I can ‘wake up’ at the end of the article completely unaware what happened around me for the last five minutes. I was in.

I’ve tested it out: it’s not the content, it’s the medium that holds me back.

I can’t really write on the computer either. Once again, I can write on a computer, but it’s completely different. Deep, contemplative writing is an impossibility for me on a keyboard. And if I’m writing on a computer, you better forget about editing. I dump my thoughts onto the page in a straightforward, formatted way and never look back. I haven’t edited a school paper in years. Should I say that? Maybe not.

What was I talking about?

Concentration. The ability to hold one thought and focus on one thing for… Why is that flag waving? We’re indoors.

Was that too cliche? I hate cliches. Cliches equal bad writing, so I try to avoid cliches at all cost. Except when making a point.

Where was I? I don’t know. It’s opening day for Rangers baseball and I’m not missing that, so have a good day.

11 thoughts on “The Internet Gives Me ADD

    1. I completely relate. Movies, especially old movies, can be extremely difficult to pay attention to. 5 years ago I considered “Rear Window” (Hitchcock) to be one of my favorite movies. Now I can’t even get through the whole thing. Oh, how my attention span has plummeted…
      Thanks for the response!


  1. written with style, expressed authentically. I’m like you, I need a clear mind and can’t all those different outlets flying my way. That’s why I don’t have a face book page. have a wonderful day. And you stay the course with writing, focused and it kept me focused:)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I hate to laugh but lol I’m sure you’re not the only one. Some of this, experts have reported is problematic for the masses (e.g., skipping around online, as opposed to focusing on a printed text). I’m just glad you tested it out to see what’s best for you and came to a conclusion 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Turns out WordPress is still letting me use my Gravatar account despite me discarding my site, so I can comment! Well done Armstrong—already a clean and aesthetically pleasing page. Godspeed

    Liked by 2 people

  4. …Internet and other modern medias became a modern curse and a blessing in one. So, I suppose, the best way to deal with it, is to obtain only that information that you really need, make valuable posts on blogs, forums and social medias. Avoid spending hours doing nothing valuable. From time to time, play games, enjoy yourself, but don’t exaggerate. At most, I use Internet only a couple of hours every day, mostly to write my blog, listen music, watch movies, play games that inspire me the most and make me more relaxed, search for interesting information…


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