Ah, the hate-read.
I can think of three of those internet web sites right now, sites that regardless of the content, I feel worse after visiting. Sites that either leave me feeling disheartened about my life or irritated by the blogger’s obliviousness or are just even hate sites themselves.
Where I’d been good about avoiding hate-reading in the past, bad habits had started to sneak back in until it seemed like I couldn’t stop clicking.
And then I was listening to an interview with the author of a book called Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing.
The premise: Humans are animals just like all the rest of the animals. We have not yet found any health issues a human has the animal world doesn’t have, and that we can learn from that.
Pretty cool, right?
Like even dinosaurs had cancer and koalas get chlamydia.
In the interview, the author talked about self-harming. She was surprised that self-harming wasn’t unique to only humans. It’s something all kinds of animals do. Parrots over groom by pulling out their feathers. Even horses can bite their own flanks.
What veterinarians had learned is that there are three factors that predicate self-mutilation; stress, boredom and isolation.
(I love the fact that one of the remedies for flank biting is to put a chicken in the stable with the horse? It makes sense, relieving the isolation. But it’s also wildly adorable.)
Anyway, stress, boredom and isolation.
And I’ll be damned if that’s not the state my brain is in during most of my internet reading. Vaguely bored, vaguely stressed, and well, alone.
So, when I looked at hate-reading sites as a form of self-mutilation, it helped me reign it in.
Self-brain-mutilation just sounds pathological.
It’s like cutting.
On my brain.
Do you hate-read?
(And good Lord, please don’t tell me who you hate-read. My self-control needs shoring up. Grin.)