I was afraid this would happen. To my dismay, it appears I have developed a case of Internet Toxicity. I know I'm naturally vulnerable to it, and I try to avoid it, but it seems this recent elections and the effects i has had on some people have made it unavoidable.
It's no coincidence that I wrote my first novel when the cable company dropped the ball and left me without internet for six weeks. Not wasting hours in constant web surfing certainly helped, but that wasn't the whole story. After a week or two without the non-stop drama of Facebook, forum arguments, and political discussions occupying my thoughts, my focus changed and made it easier for me to concentrate on other things. My creativity improved dramatically. My mind (especially when I was in "idle mode" while driving or doing other automatic tasks) now spent it's time musing on story concepts and situations as opposed to politics or other internet driven drama. It made being productive a whole lot more possible.
When I got my internet back, I learned I had to self limit. I needed to avoid the trap of wasting time continuously clicking that next link. It was destroying my attention span, and starting to eat up that "idle mode" I had started using for plot and character development purposes. So, after some experimentation, I found a happy medium that allowed me my internet fix without undue damage to my creativity and attention span.
Unfortunately, I have recently been forced to confront the fact that recent events, and the reactions to those events, have undone the balance I strove for. Despite efforts to avoid it, I have been poisoned by the current state of the internet, and I need to focus on recovery.
So that only leaves one solution.
I will have to drastically cut back on my internet usage, especially at Facebook (I will likely budget fifteen minutes at the end of the day for that so my friends don't think I hate them), and will have to confine my online activities to research and business. Also, I will especially need to curtail the amount of time I spend online in general. Time spent clicking that unending chain of links can be better used reading the works of other authors, or maybe even spent outdoors. Things that will help the old brain get used to focusing on things for longer than a few minutes at a time again. And things that will help me mentally detoxify.
I'm going to hate this, but my previous experience with kicking a twenty-year smoking habit means I know an addiction when I see one...and that means it needs to be done.
Time to go read a book.
Then maybe I can start writing one.