Posts Tagged ‘time-suck’

The Time I Fell Down the Wikipedia Rabbit Hole

August 8, 2012 5 comments

This is a path I’ve walked down many times.

Most everyone’s done it – you look up one (perhaps legitimate) item on Wikipedia, then begin clicking on links like your life depends on it. I find the habit mostly strikes when I’m procrastinating, or have to wake up early the next morning for an important meeting. Naturally, my mind will decide that’s the perfect time to learn all about hairstyles over the years. Who could forget the Jheri curl or the hi-top fade?

Most recently, I tumbled down the frightening cave that is Scientology, the supposed biography of L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, Operation Snow White, the Free Zone, auditing, Operating Thetan, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and their relationship with psychiatry, other Scientology controversies, and the Space Opera origin story.

Five hours later, I looked up from my computer, dazed and wondering how many engrams I was crawling with as a preclear. Oh, God.

I’ve read about countless diseases and medications, including the deadly interactions between prescription pills and/or other illegal substances. I learned about trypophobia, which doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry, but is the fear of holes, mostly organic and unevenly shaped. Googling the term presents you with a plethora of Photoshopped images combining human flesh and lotus fruit, but also shows you lots of skin grafts and terrifying videos of Surinam toads giving birth through their backs.

This of course led me to research phobias on Wikipedia, including trypanophobia (fear of medical needles), automatonophobia (fear of “anything that falsely represents a sentient being,” like a ventriloquist dummy), emetophobia (fear of vomiting, which I have), genuphobia (fear of knees and/or kneeling), ipovlopsychophobia (fear of having your photo taken), omphalophobia (fear of bellybuttons), pseudodysphagia (fear of swallowing and/or choking), spectrophobia (fear of mirrors and reflections), and tokophobia (fear of childbirth or pregnancy).

Or there that time a number of years ago when I decided to just look up serial killers on Wikipedia, and eventually found myself at the Crime Library, which is a huge time-suck if you are morbidly curious. I also didn’t sleep well for a week because of nightmares, so approach with caution.

Honestly, I could keep on going. Even just linking to these articles has sent me down another rabbit hole for three hours now. I think it’s time to stop writing.

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