Day Six and Day Seven: The homesickness of being Internetless, and the likely psychological ramifications

Twelve days without Internet in my room.

I apologize for not posting yesterday. I was out on Long Island and in a home where Internet access is aplenty, so posting was both a) inconvenient because I was doing things all day and didn’t have time to write 500+ words that no one will read except Joe Leathersich and b) rendered a bit useless since I had Internet there.

But I am now back in Manhattan in this Internetless building so once again feel compelled to chronicle my struggle. It’s a bit pathetic, I think, being in this lobby with an Internet connection and realizing just how much the Internet calms me down.

I don’t know if this reliance/reverence/compulsion attributed to the Internet is unique to me, but it certainly is a 21st century issue. I come down from my room to use the Internet and once I’m online I immediately feel better.

If I was an introspective person, I’d be worried about myself.

Where/when did this attachment to the Internet come from? I suppose it’s the same as anything taken for granted for years – it just develops as part of an environment and once it’s gone there is a radical shift in the equilibrium of that habitat. I was trying to describe the feeling of being Internetless (and I keep saying that, but really it’s just being without the convenience of having Internet right there in my room) to someone and it shocked me a bit to realize that the closest thing I can use to describe the feeling is homesickness.

They both feel the same to me.

Here I am, six hours away from home, and it’s not the distance from my house that gives me this anxious/depressed/lost feeling, it’s the lack of Internet in my room. It’s the same feeling when I actually was homesick, at the start of college. It’s the abrupt loss of something that was always just there, the stable environment (either physical or ethereal) to which I could return. I wonder if I had Internet in my room now, if I would still have the same feeling, but it would be attributed to homesickness rather than Internetlessness. I don’t know, but I probably would. Which makes this ordeal of attributing this feeling I have to the Internetless room a bit shallow/unnecessary/misguided, but we’re delving into hypotheticals now and the only thing I know for sure is that I have this feeling and I do not have Internet, so the two are connected. I don’t think I’ll find out when I move to an Internet room June 1, either, if this feeling is because of the lack of Internet, because by then I’ll have adjusted (hopefully) to life in NYC and the whole being away from home issue will be rendered moot.

I do wonder if this feeling will go away then, on June 1, though. I hope it does. I’d really like to spend the remainder of my time here in the city at least sort-of OK.

Maybe it’s the fact that I know I’ll be out of this room in less than two weeks that contributes to the feeling. I won’t get settled here because it’s not worth it – maybe it makes more sense to just wait it out, as I seem to have convinced myself to do.

I’m very curious to see how things turn out in twelve days. Everything is so focused on June 1 that I forget I have a life to lead in between now and then. I’ve built it up to be the end/beginning of something, and I don’t know if it will be. More likely it’ll just be a continuation.

I counted this morning: 10 weeks left in NYC.

That’s if I move out the last Friday in July, as I think I will, but I have to double check.

I’ve gone from thinking I see celebrities around to thinking I see people I recognize from home/school around. Not even my friends, just people I know or know of.

Maybe this blog will end up being an account of the slow deterioration of my mental state.

Fingers crossed.

-Ben Cosman