I am having trouble being on the internet too much. At first I got online because it made me feel less isolated, but now I feel like I’m online for hours. It’s actually become more isolating for me. I can spend hours not doing much, just going between websites and cruising for sex. I don’t think I’m a sex addict because I’m not even having that much sex. I do a lot of checking email, shopping, looking at a hand full of websites. Sometimes I don’t leave the house for days on end because I’m lost in cyberspace. What can I do?
— Lost in Cyberspace
There’s a great song by Le Tigre called “Get Off the Internet.” The lyrics go “It feels so 80s or early 90s / to be political / where are my friends?” A lot of those friends are trying to figure out how to integrate the new technology into our lives in a way that balances face to face interaction, exercise, sex in three dimensions and our creative practices. Everywhere you look, people are displaying obsessive compulsive behaviors — clicking on “Get Mail” hundreds of times in the space of an hour, looking at their phones, standing in the middle of Safeway scrolling around on their iPhones. We’re definitely in a period of transition.
I just read an interesting book called “Against the Machine,” by Lee Siegel. He talks about how the internet has been heralded as a totally democratic space where everyone has a voice, how it’s revolutionary....