I am currently reading the book, “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” by Jeremy Dean. It’s a pretty interesting book so far and has some pretty universal truths in it about how most of us behave. I have even found myself laughing aloud a couple times. Especially when he describes an action that I do often but wish to deny more than admit, (eating fast food, being lazy, etc), and then describes how most people will deny this more than admit it.
My point to this is one of the habits he breaks down is internet use and the possibility of internet addiction. My version of this habit would be checking my reports page on my new book, “No Lifeguard on Duty”. In Making Habits, Jeremy describes how a mouse who steps on a lever randomly receives a pellet of food. If the mouse steps on the lever three to five times in a row, he may be rewarded with one pellet, he could be rewarded with three pellets or he could hit the jackpot with five pellets. The mouse could also find that on the next three to five steps he gets no pellets. Why would he keep putting so much effort into the lever if this happens? Well, the answer is obvious. He has learned that eventually a pellet will come.
I laughed at this because I too have become obsessed with pushing the internet lever titled, “reports”. I check it, and check it, and check it again. Each time a little bubble of hope floats up to my throat and my hearts freezes its beating, pausing with my breath for the nanosecond it takes to send the message from the screen, to my eyes, and on to my brain. Will I see that tiny Red or Blue dot that will make me soar with gratitude and excitement or not? I am the mouse.
The book cautions against this behavior and, it reasoning’s make perfect sense, but I still can’t seem to help myself. I try to resist and that only re-enforces my urge to peek at my smart phone. It would make an interesting story wouldn’t it? The girl who drove herself insane while trying to validate her existence with a line graph… I can see it now. Maybe I’ll write it. How she can’t get any new work done because all she can think about it how well her last piece was doing.
Yeah, I think I will go write that one, but first… I’ll have just one more look at my reports page.
Happy reading- Talyn Marie