I often think of hungry as an emotion. Like someone asks how you feel and you’re like: “I am hungry. Hungry is what I feel. Leave me alone.” It would be better if it wasn’t because let’s face it, enough emotions already thanks life. But I listen to hunger. It’s easy- I feel hungry, so I eat something, and then I stop hating on everyone and everything.
Everything else going on is not that easy. I miss the carefree days of ignoring my body and ploughing on through to another night out and getting some more chips and then going for a run because oops, better do something good. The joys of being 19.
Now I’ve got some other emotions and feelings to consider- paranoia, stress, exhaustion, obsession. The Internet has become my doctor and this is bad. It’s bad and I’m not alone.
I spend hours worrying about ‘symptoms’. I google things, look for things, I lay awake worrying about aches and pains and my internet search history is full of ‘symptoms of..,’. Wild, I know. The whole internet out there and I’m just at home in my mouse dressing gown wondering what deadly disease I must have because I had a headache earlier. It never ends. I do have a connective tissue disorder, so that’s partly to blame because I have a lot of symptoms, but even when things happen that are not related to that something pings in my head and I’m like OH GOD I THINK I MIGHT BE DYING???? And so off to Google I go.
This is not healthy. I jump on every little pain or niggle or grumble and google and diagnose myself with all manner of conditions which I definitely don’t have. I get totally freaked out and start asking my friends if they’ve ever experienced the same, then they say they don’t, BUT they do have something else. So then we talk about that. Then guess what? Maybe I have that too?
The internet is amazing and I love it dearly. I love it for videos of people falling over, vines of Beyonce, hilarious one liners, satire, 24 hour news and for a job I really enjoy. But I hate what it does for my health. We 20 somethings who got the Internet when we were just emerging from childhood and used to plug it in on the landline are used to having the answers. We’re used to just looking it up online and we want everything immediately. It’s a blessing and a curse.
While it’s super useful in some respects of health and raises awareness and teaches us how to do vital things like check for cancers etc, my frame of mind is not impressed.
I’m already unwell, yet there’s this tool on this thing I carry around everywhere in my hand (hiya iphone) and it’s making me paranoid and sad and stressed. It’s turning molehills into mountains and it’s seen me scorned by GPs and nurses. I realise I should stop googling and looking things up. I realise it’s that simple.
But it’s hard to give it up. I know I have friends who are the same as me. We over-analyse and we get way out of hand and we’re on whatsapp like ‘babe I think I have cronhs’ and my God, it HAS got to stop.
Health is so important. It’s time to start being health aware and sensible in real life instead of relying on doctor Iphone to tell me I need to go to the hospital immediately.