What did people do at work before the internet? If the only episode of Mad Men that I’ve seen is any indication, it looks like they smoke, drank and had secret office sex. Unfortunately, the internet came around and ruined that for us. Today, most of our jobs require us to sit in front of a computer screen for the majority of the day. In a job like production,* where you often work 12 hour days, the internet is an integral part of that day. It sucks you in and time disappears. Suddenly, it’s 3PM and that email you wanted to send at noon is still just a draft. I don’t stand a chance against resisting the internet’s allure. For me, it begins early the morning when I wake up to 45 new messages in my inbox; rarely are they anything work related/from friends/not automatically generated. I’m an email slut – I give it up to anyone who wants it. I’ve tried unsubscribing to some of the emails, but only to ones I never signed up for in the first place, like diapers.com. Hitting unsubscribe is just too risky in most cases; I’m not in the market to travel to Cambodia this year, but what if I write a mockumentary on the Cambodian killing fields and I need a luxury hotel to stay in, and I miss out on a great discount because I carelessly unsubscribed from one of my luxury travel emails? What then?! I still don’t have enough money to afford the hotel at full cost, it’s my first paid project!

I have to give myself credit though, I’ve really toned down my online shopping habit…mainly because I don’t fully understand how a post office works. Do I get in line or can I drop the package off and leave? Can I get the postage I need from these self-serve machines? Do I BYOB (box)? At my previous job, there was a box labeled “Out” and when I had items from my impulse online shopping to return, I just placed them in the aforementioned box, and they soon disappeared. Minimal effort required. But, I can’t get rid of my many, many shopping emails. There may just be a day I need something and if I paid full price at a department store instead of on getting it online for a discount, I don’t know how I could live with myself. 

The one daily newsletter I read that actually contributes to my intelligence instead of wearing it away is a news briefing email called The Skimm. It simplifies the daily headlines and talks to me like the uninformed girl that I am. Before The Skimm, the only thing I knew about Syria was that it was a country that’s name sounded like the word syrup. 

After I read about worldly matters, my focus starts to wane. I click on articles and I get about two sentences in before I lose my focus. I move on to top 10 lists on sites like Buzzfeed, which require the bare minimum of my attention. I then peruse my myriad of groupon-like sites for the best deals. I wonder how I could justify getting this party animal dancing speakers and I dream of the day when I’ll be able to factor “funny crap” into my overall budget. 

It’s a puppy..who dances…with your iPod!!

I also read tons and tons of recipes. I cook almost never. Staring at the photos on these recipe blogs and immediately discounting them when I see more than three ingredients listed, I become hungry. I get up to eat. That is my break in the day. I come back and read my emails about restaurants, concerts, and weekly events in LA. I add them all to my Excel list of “things I want to do” and then realize how I need money to do most of these things. As I add the newest trendy restaurants (Fishing with Dynamite, Pearl Liquor Bar or Brian Malarkey’s outpost coming to the Mondrian this winter) I realize, again and again, that I should really be working on my scripts, so I could get a better job, and have the money to eat at all these lavish restaurants. Then, I think, I could probably get a date to take me there faster than I’m going to sell a script, so I bring up the internet on a smaller platform, my iPhone, and start flicking through the guys on Tinder. When I catch myself and realize how embarrassed I’d be if a co-worker saw me partaking in the 21st century version of hitting on guys, I move on to dots. The dumbest freaking game ever, and I could not be more addicted.

After I play for awhile, the dots all blur together and my score gets increasingly lower, yet I can’t stop. Hey, it could be worse, I could be addicted to lines. 

As I start today, I hope that this will be the day that I stop wasting so much time online. My first step, is getting help:

Is this a good start or a bad one? I really don’t know.

*Oh, I got a job! I’m working on a new TV show on TBS – no greasy fries and ugly uniforms for me – yay! Am I in the writer’s room.? No, not yet. Does that suck? Yes. Do I get free internet and a large iMac at my disposal? Yes, yes I do. 

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