Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2020/ Why Am I So Petrified of Silence?

Why Am I So Petrified of Silence?

Recently my bike broke down in an inconvenient location, and I faced a long walk home. The evening was cold and windy, and I was not looking forward to it much. Mostly, I was anxious that my MP3 player would run out of podcasts to listen to on the way home. I had several hours of podcasts banked up, but I did not know whether I had enough.

I spent the entire walk anxious about running out of podcasts. I was not even paying much attention to the podcasts in question. I just did not want to be facing a dark, cold, long walk with nothing to listen to, and I am not sure why.

This is a real problem. Am I really so intolerant of my own company that I am unwilling to spend an hour or two by myself, accompanied with my own thoughts? (Yes) Am I so dependent on electronic distraction that I cannot stand the thought of making my own entertainment? (Yes) Before I had podcasts, I sometimes had other entertainments for long walks, such as weekly ECHO alt-weeklies. But I would also think idly or sing to myself or just enjoy the experience. I have lost such skills.

Part of the problem is that podcasts are a treadmill. I subscribe to far more podcasts than I should, so keeping up is a constant struggle. Podcasts are supposed to be entertainment, not the focus of my life.

Part of the problem is that I am so sick and tired of myself that if I start idly thinking I will usually get upset.

There is probably more to the problem than this.

The right conclusion to this entry would be a vow to turn off podcasts and live life in the here and now, or to get serious about taking up a meditation practice, or to get pharmaceutical assistance in living with myself. I have none of those conclusions to offer. I expect this will just get worse and worse until I go deaf from listening to too many podcasts. Then maybe I will get a brain implant for further stimulation. I make fun of people with smartphones sometimes, but I am no better.

I did end up falling short of podcasts during the walk, so I just re-listened to a previous episode that I had enjoyed. There had been no crisis at all, except in my diseased mind.