Blacking Out on the Internet

By Shawn

Browsing the Internet can be a lot like a night of heavy drinking. It starts with one drink or click, and before you know it, you come to in some random ass place with absolutely no idea how you got there. I had a friend who was determined to stop sleeping with this terrible guy, but every time she drank she’d wake up the next morning in his bed, filled with confusion and regret. My Internet habit is just like that, except my terrible fuck buddy is Wikipedia. Some typical examples:

“Hmm, I better look on the OED and make sure I’m using that word properly.” → lost time → “Why am I on Wikipedia reading about sugar gliders?”

“Eh, why not check Facebook?” → Internet coma → “Hold on. I have three Wikipedia tabs open right now. One is about Schopenhauer and two are about the domestication of horses. How did this happen?”

“This Pandora station sucks. I should change it.” → absolute mystery → “Huh. Wikipedia. Seem to have been reading about Hegel, the origin of toothpaste, and the history of Western sodomy laws. Don’t… remember… why.”

“I should look up when Rousseau wrote this.” → brain siesta→ “No no no no no. This is a Wikipedia article about Ben Affleck and I’m reading the section on his personal life. Wait, is he still with Jennifer Garner or isn’t he? I better check her page.”

“I wonder if it’s gonna rain later.” → trip to Narnia? → “Wait a second. This is a Wikipedia article about Pope Julius II, and I’m editing it to correct the name of his mistress. How the fuck do I know that? Did I learn it from a different Wikipedia page? Can’t… remember… Feeling… cold… and scared…”

Oh Wikipedia, I try to quit you, but all roads lead back to your sporadically inaccurate embrace. Our love is wrong. But sometimes it feels so right.

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