E-mail and Addiction

It all started as a way to keep up to date on what was going on, find the latest poses, and keep in touch with his friends.

Edward had signed up for a listserv, and discovered new ways to teach poses, new stretches to add to his repertoire, and new ways of warming up and cooling down, along with basic discussions from all over the world about yoga, everything a yogi should be interested in, and everything he should think about.

From there it grew to include friends, forwards, and finances, dealing with everything through e-mail. Edward checked his e-mail before and after every class, when he woke up, before he went to bed, and if he woke up through the night. Suppertime was spent at the computer. He had to check his e-mail, maybe an old friend was trying to contact him. Maybe work wanted him to know that a class was cancelled. He had all his old e-mails stored on the computer; he never deleted anything, though sorted it all into folders marked “friends”, “news”, “work”, and “junk”. Try as he might to delete the junk mail folder, he couldn’t bring himself to do so. What if he missed something? What if something important ended up there, and he had to go back and find it?

The real end came when he got a new smartphone. He could now check his e-mail any time. He had it set up to chime whenever a new message came. He loved that chime. His students didn’t, as it distracted them, and their teacher, mid-class. As such, his classes were dwindling, and he continued to check his e-mail, hoping a new student would register. He checked his phone even if he didn’t hear the chime. Every ten minutes. Often less. But oh the rush when he received a new message. The thrill kept him coming. He would feel so alone, until a new message appeared in his inbox, and for a moment, he would feel connected, as though someone cared and loved for him. Usually it would be someone offering him a penis enlargement, but still, he felt popular. Then the feeling would pass, and he would sink back in to the passive hunt for acceptance and meaning. And on it went, day after day, until he was so very alone, waiting for another little chime.

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