Midnight Pub

The strange attraction of the online-void


For more than 20 years, I’ve been mostly online. Mobile devices, starting with my first Nokia 770, made it even better. Or worse.  I still don’t know.

It made sense at the time. I was a computer geek/scientist after all.

The present is different. I managed to fulfill one of my dream and become a full-time fiction writer.

For 20 years, I was writing a lot less than what I wanted because I was busy programming. I even accepted management jobs to not program anymore and free my mind from programming day and night in order to write fiction again.

Now, I’m free.

But still addict to being online. I cut down some of it. Then found Gemini. I’m still addict.

I’m working on building an offline setup where I could connect once a day and have everything I need (work in progress, see my gemlog)


But when I’m offline several hours or even several days, I miss my computer. I miss toying in a terminal.

My Regolith Linux with a black background is so perfect for my need, so minimalist, that I don’t need to tweak anything. Is it a good thing?

I still have no idea if I should fight and cure this addiction. Is it really preventing me from writing? Or is it an undisputable part of my identity?

Online, like the void, is calling me, asking me to jump.

Unlike the void, I jump way too often.


Ha, I like and connect with your words.

As a fan of technology, and maybe an addict too, I wrote a little bit about it here

Re: The Appeal of Online

Maybe avoiding to be online completely is worse. I've tried and then your mind tries to overcompensate. Like the rebound effect with diets. We are used to it so we have to slowly replace that behavior with another.

I'm trying to write more fiction and even my non-fiction book about how to create video games and it has been *painful* dealing with distractions.

I hope I become better dealing with them. Your idea of an offline digital typewriter sounds great, good vibes with that!



The appeal of online is the appeal of other people. Humans are social beings and we want to connect. Knowing that is key to dealing with online; it can help you accept it without guilt or help you distance yourself from it further (by finding other ways to find connection).

Talking to people in real life, or, reading fiction (trying to find a connection both to the fictional people in the book and to the author that made them), or, by using awareness (of the desire to connect socially really being the driver of the appeal of online), trying to get over that desire and enjoy the hermit life.

I went with the "talking with people in real life" route when I went offline. But then pandemic made that impossible so I embraced online. It's addictive but so is food and sleep. Humans need each other.



That’s a very good point. I’m, myself, reading a lot of fiction. In fact, I want to be less on the screen to be able to read more.

On the other hand, I find real life interaction particularly tiring (I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrom). I also have a wife and two children who provide me with already "too much" social interaction ;-)



Ha, I don't have a diagnosed Asperger, more like traits and introversion, although it has been difficult to fit in an extroverted society. (Even with a semi-extroverted wife, relatives and super-extroverted business partners)

Sure, trying to be productive and useful to it, but exhausting at the end.

Good vibes gals/guys! Glad to socially interact with you over here 🍸



I smell a suckless user in our midst...!

As for feeling the call of the computer - my addiction stems from food, caffeine and music associations I built over years of working with the terminal.

Once I tried cutting these things down dramatically, my desire to be near a terminal or even in an engaging online forum dropped dramatically