M is for Myg

Live your god damned dream

All manner of poison

Posted by myg

all kinds of poisons

It fucks with me. It really does.

On the one hand, it’s this social, creative outlet. A community of people I love and enjoy spending time with, even if that time is translated through a fiber optic network at high speed.

I look at my Second Self and I say, “that’s me.” And it is. It’s often closer to the biological me than you might realize. In fact, what I’m wearing in that photo, how I’m sitting, it’s nearly identical to how I’m sitting as I type this and the clothes I’ve got on this frigid mid winter eve. The vodka bottle is steps away in a kitchen cabinet and sounds a better idea the longer I type.

On the other hand, it’s this black hole of productivity and time. The more time I spend online, the less I get done in my life. I resent going to work. Laundry sits in heaps on the floor. The dishes pile up around the sink. I don’t write music anymore. I struggle to write anything other than blog posts here, even though I consider myself a writer.

Do you know you can get addicted to anything?

When I spend a lot of time online, my brain feels the same it did when I was addicted to cigarettes. Owned by something, not me. Duller. Scattered. Unable to concentrate deeply on anything. I’m one of those lucky people who can be addicted to something and still keep my shit marginally together. I can still get to work, do my work just barely well enough to not get in trouble, get the laundry done when I’m out of socks and underwear. That sort of keeping my shit together.

But I can’t get anything meaningful accomplished. Like I got the novel started but I can’t get anywhere with it. I had the idea for a song, but I can’t pick up my guitar and bang it out. I keep meaning to call that friend who I blew off at Christmas time, and it’s almost March but I haven’t made the call.

Any one of those things, if I did them, would make my life better.

I don’t know that I can honestly say the same about the internet.

It’s not Second Life, actually. I can get compulsive about Second Life but usually I don’t. More than that, I get compulsive about blogging. I get obsessive about this blog, but I also compulsively check and read other blogs throughout the day too. Sadly, I can surf on the internet forever. It’s a lot worse than television. And I always feel so useless when I do it.

It’s like I don’t want to miss any of the conversation. But I feel I’ve got less and less to add.

I’m not going away. I’m just explaining. If every few months or so you see the posts here slow down, it’s because I need a break.

That’s not a break from you though. You, I miss.

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18 Comments so far

  1. HawksRock Gunawan March 4th, 2008 5:04 am

    This is a very honest and powerful post Myg. I can also say that I totally agree with it, and often feel the very same way. I came into SL wanting to escape some crap in RL, and had the great fortune to find love there that then can transcend into RL, so I can’t say it was a total waste of time, but I can guarantee you that many many many of those hours/weeks/months were a waste. I also found myself putting off things (not just minor things) as I spent hours procrastinating in SL that turned into days and weeks. In college I used to have to win 3 games of solitaire before I would write a paper, so perhaps that was my first taste of walking down the addiction road. I think at some point Jell and I need to be invited to your New Year’s Bash so we can just do away with the SL part altogether… :)

  2. Caterin Semyorka March 4th, 2008 5:29 am

    Hi Myg

    I know exactly what you mean.

    I love my Second Life to bits but I’m also very aware of the toll is is taking on my First Life. I have thought of taking a break…but oh it feels like such a hard thing to do.

    Addicted? I certainly tick all the boxes.

    Sigh. Cat x

  3. chestnut March 4th, 2008 7:46 am

    myg i could have written this post. well, you are a much better writer than i could ever hope to be so not really. but i share the sentiment completely.

  4. Joonie March 4th, 2008 11:06 am

    Myg, love this post. I love SL, I love my friends, I love the creativity, But I realize I have not spent any time with my RL friends in months, and I haven’t painted a thing in…well, longer than I want to admit. My life is in a box. Thank you for posting this. I need to pull my head out of the box and come up for air. unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. *sigh* JJ

  5. October Hush March 4th, 2008 1:17 pm

    Wow, I know exactly what you mean, hon. Seriously. *hugs*

  6. myg March 4th, 2008 1:34 pm

    @all of you. Thanks for stopping by, for continuing to read here and for sharing your thoughts. I’m not real surprised to hear you can relate because I think what I’m talking about here is pretty universal among those of us with dual lives. But it sure feels better to know I’m not alone with these thoughts.

    @hawks – yes, I think a real meeting will be inevitable sooner or later! And I was the original solitaire addict, I like to think, though I’m sure it ain’t so. I still play it when I’m on long boring phone conferences. All that sorting, I dunno. Makes my brain feel like it’s doing something.

    @Caterin – I so hear ya. I love my Second Life too and would never abandon it. But sometimes when I stay out for awhile(and I did recently because I had been so sick) this odd “normal” feeling begins to return, and I realize I kind of like it.

    @Chestnut – You can write a post about this topic that kicks this post’s ass. If you wanna.

    @Joonie – I’m nodding my head, yup! I wouldn’t sweat any of it, really, unless you’re calling out of work and shit. I find that even a weekend away is enough to put things back into balance.

    @Tobie – *hugs* thanks sweetie.

  7. orchid zenovka March 4th, 2008 10:52 pm


  8. Rosie March 5th, 2008 12:13 am

    Yup. Ditto. This is the kind of post that hits you dead center. I have to agree with all the sentiments expressed and thank you for posting it. I agree with Hawks, this is a very powerful post to write. Although I can’t imagine doing away totally with what I’ve come to be used to in SL, the feelings you’ve described are familiar enough to warrant some introspection. And, agreed, it’s not just sl.. I could sometimes go from blog to blog or even “lose” myself in solitaire, lol. Distraction or absorption?

  9. JellyBean Madison March 5th, 2008 12:19 pm

    I also agree Myg. I think about back in Hawaii when I would spend hours upon hours in SL and though it wasn’t obvious then as to why, it is very much so now. I was using SL to distract from my RL and being there with Hawks was so much better than what I had in front of me on the other side of the monitor. Everything suffered. Mostly my kids. Now that I’m out of that situation, I see now that I don’t feel a need to run, distract or be absorbed into my virtual addiction.

  10. myg March 6th, 2008 12:48 am

    Now that you mention it, we also got into Second Life right after the death of Alex’s dad, which was the last major bad thing in a string of really awful shit that had happened in our family over the past three years. So when we first came in, it was this really excellent way to just disappear. And you know what? I really needed to disappear then, so I’m not saying that was a bad thing. I definitely don’t regret coming into Second Life at all. But now that life isn’t so grim, I don’t want to spend so many hours in SL now. And…that’s…o…kay….! lol and all that.

  11. cranach forder March 7th, 2008 5:27 am

    I’ve been waiting for Myg & Alex ‘s real smile so long.
    Please take care as long as you both fine.

  12. lulubett March 7th, 2008 10:57 am

    Don’t worry about it Myg. We are all sick.
    You are just one of us. So don’t be afraid,
    let’s share fun time with us!

  13. dandellion Kimban March 7th, 2008 4:08 pm

    I am reading this for days and I have no guts to touch the subject.

  14. Timothy Lilliehook March 12th, 2008 10:50 am

    Thanks for posting this, Myg. It’s really good to know that other feel the same way that I do about SL and RL conflicts. I am more and more struggling with myself and if I need to change anything in RL or SL to get out of the current situation, but as dandellion said: It takes some guts to face this topic and deal with it! Every time I’m sitting in front of my computer and think about SL and if I still “need” it, I feel the urge to write a post about it, but all that came out of it was one half-way done post that has never been published. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do that and fight the addiction …

  15. Lunette March 17th, 2008 7:18 pm

    Me, too … all of the above …

  16. The SL Slump… « March 19th, 2008 4:39 pm

    […] etc in SL. Myg had wrote a very great post along the similar lines and like I said in my comment there, it wasn’t obvious then as to why I spent so much time online, but it is very much so now – I was […]

  17. Farewell Marion « Girl meets Second Life April 5th, 2008 11:57 am

    […] She is leaving SL for a while, to focus on her First Life…something perhaps I need to do (see Myg’s post for other thoughts on this […]

  18. Veronique Lalonde April 5th, 2008 6:48 pm

    I got to this post from a link in Caterin’s blog, and it really hit home. Beautifully written and beautifully said. For several months after I joined SL, I was basically addicted. Then I realized that if I didn’t make changes in my first life, I’d basically be sucked into SL and never come out. So I did make changes. And the result has been amazing.

    I’m still too addicted to the interweb. I write my own blogs obsessively (not so much the one above, but other), and read those of others, I hang out on Twitter, and I just got sucked into Facebook. But I’m making sure that first life comes first, which sometimes makes me sad, because I miss my virtual friends, but ultimately is what I have to do.

    Still seeking that ideal balance.

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