I am sick. I have a disease. It’s serious, I’m sure.

My head is pounding. My heart is racing. I am exhausted. And this strange feeling keeps coming over me: I feel I am being watched.

Hundreds, maybe thousands of eyes are looking at me. A multitude of voices are calling, all shouting at me simultaneously. I slam my hands over my ears, and screw my eyes tightly shut.

I think, “Run! Run to the door and shut everyone out. Hide!” I open my eyes and I notice the door is already closed. There is no one here. I am by myself. I am all alone. But the voices continue, competing for my attention.

And then I realise the voices aren’t coming from outside. They’re coming from my open computer, sitting on my desk.

“Sue! Sue!” they scream.

I can hear the din of a thousand emails marching towards me from Outlook Express:

“Read me! Answer me! Move me! I’m old: Delete me!”

I look past the emails and see the blogs approaching. They are huge and demanding:

“Read this post! Write that post! Comment! Reply! Write some more! Don’t forget to link! Publish! Update! Redesign!”

Facebook comes trotting along friendly, eager to chat:

“Like this! Post that! Share this! Tag! Play! Request! Confirm! Refuse!”

And Twitter comes flying by:

“Tweet! Retweet! Make me a favourite!”

But I swat Twitter away. It’s light weight. I can deal with it. I bat it over my shoulder.

But now I can hear thud! thud! thud! I gulp. A giant is lumbering close: Google.

“Search for this! Research that! Bookmark! Favourite! Click! Click! Check your iGoogle page!”

iGoogle page? Oh yes, I hear it beeping:

“Check your blogs, the time, the weather, your mail…”

More mail? Yahoo and Hotmail are power-walking, arm-in-arm. They shout in unison:

“Read me! Answer me! Move me! I’m old: Delete me!”

And then Yahoo moves away from Hotmail and shouts a message of its own:

“Check your forums! Keep in touch! Keep up-to-date! People need prayers!”


A huge wave of Faith rolls out of my computer and hits me. I stagger backwards.

“Pray this novena! Pray for this person! That person! This cause! That cause! Read this! Meditate upon that! Adopt this cardinal! Pray this Rosary! Join this fight! Help!”

I can't pray fast enough. I feel so inadequate. Help? I need help!

“Stop!” I yell. I can’t take any more!” I rush over to my computer and slam the lid down. I step back and peer cautiously at the silenced monster. Have I contained it? Can I breathe again? I sink to my knees and take deep breaths. It's quiet. I can't hear a sound. Peace starts to swirl around me, slowly removing my tension. My heart stops banging like a drum. I can lift up my head and think…

And suddenly I think I know what disease I have. I have EIO: Electronic Information Overload. All this information bombarding me, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month... My brain is saturated. I can’t keep up. What do I do?

I was diagnosed with this serious illness a few days ago. (Self diagnosis, Google of course.)  I'm hoping for a full cure, with no lasting side effects. In the meantime I've got to take my medication and avoid certain activities. No Facebook. For now, I've deactivated my account. Isn't that sad? (I'd better go and tweet and email my friends and let them know.)

Has anyone else suffered from EIO? Will I recover? Will I ever be the same again? Please give me some hope.

PS Please don't tell my doctor... I still have my Sue Elvis Writes Facebook page, if anyone wants to message me or keep up-to-date with my blog post notifications. 

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  1. Sue, this is dreadful! I think you must be dying!

    No, seriously - I think you'll recover in time:-) You and your laptop have just had a bit of a blue, that's all. I would ignore it, for a day or two - even give it a kick in passing to vent your frustration (not too hard, though - you know you'll both want to make up eventually).

    After a cooling down period, I really think you'll be best buddies, again!

    You may have to keep the electronic monster in its place, next time, though. Starve it of attention when it starts getting bossy and send it to do some time out if it gets a bit stroppy. Then, it'll stop spitting the dummy every time you want to off on your own for some quiet time.

    I hope this helps. I've had some experience of hoon technology, remember? I cold-shouldered my iPad for a whole summer. We're BFFs, again, now:-D

    God bless, Sue:-)

    1. Vicky,

      Thank you for the encouragement. I won't panic but trust you are right. I can see I'm receiving advice from an experienced computer user. I will pay heed! So glad to hear you had a full recovery. That's very reassuring!

      Did you notice how many exclamation marks I inserted in this post? I really enjoyed going wild, flinging them everywhere!

      Well Vicky, you receive the award for most comments on my blogs in a 24 hour period. Well done! Your good work is appreciated! What would I do without you?

  2. What a graphic description of an illness that - I think - hits us all from time to time.
    I'm hoping for your total and speedy recovery.
    And I agree with Vicky. Tame the monster, put it on a diet, but do not throw it down the drain. Give it some time alone to cool down when throwing tantrums. Remember, you're the boss!

    1. Uglemor,

      I am sure EIO isn't fatal. I shall probably be all recovered in a day or two. It's strange how one day I can feel overwhelmed and the next I'm full of energy again, ready to blog, write, chat...for hours.

      Okay, my computer is on a diet. I'm the boss. I shall remember that. Thank you!

  3. Now I feel guilty sending you that message on FB today - I'm part of the problem!
    But seriously, it's a good thing to remember what life before internet was like.
    When we go away I don't miss it at all, in fact, it's liberating, but as soon as we're home I'm back into the same habits!

    1. Kelly,

      You are never a problem! I really loved receiving your message. The problem is I have let myself get too involved with the Internet. I don't regret for a moment the friends I have made online. I just need to organise myself better, and maybe remember to take a break every now and then. I don't want to disappear, just have one of those liberating holidays you mentioned!

      Always good to hear from you!

  4. It gets better, Sue. I promise! After the first day or so of going crazy because you can't update your status, you'll start to feel calmer. After a few days, it's likely you won't miss it at all :)

    1. Angela,

      It's so lovely to hear from you! I've missed you since you stopped writing on your blog. I can imagine you're feeling calmer now you're not online so much, like you described. I guess I would feel that way too if I turned off the computer. But I just can't get through that initial letting go period. A bit like trying to break an addiction, I imagine. I get all restless and wonder what's going on online. I think...How is everyone getting on without me? No doubt, the blogging world would get on perfectly fine if I stayed away! But I might miss everyone.

  5. I may have a touch of it right now :) I check my email way too often - this darn iPad makes it so easy to do that. Then I I decided to purposely not check my email so often and I have been feeling restless.


    1. Gina,

      I know what you mean! I close my computer and then I get out my tablet instead. I can check my blogs, FB, email, forums... Yes, it's no better! And I can even do it on the go. At least with my laptop, I leave it at home when I go out. Funny how we get used to being connected 24 hours a day.

      I hope you recover soon too!

  6. Too funny! I totally suffer from EIO. Quitting Facebook helped me a little. But, its funny how quickly I filled up all of my old Facebook time by reading more blogs and getting into Pinterest and LinkedIn.

    EIO is a sneaky ailment that will find its way one way or another. I have been trying to avoid the internet entirely on Fridays and that has helped me to have at least one day to unplug.

    Of course, that usually means I spend all my morning on Saturday on the computer catching up on what I missed.....

    Maybe we should start a support group-- online, of course!

    God Bless, Kari

    1. Kari,

      Oh your comment is so funny too! An online support group for EIO sufferers? I love it! Of course I'm joining.

      I haven't signed up for Pinterest. Everyone tells me how great it is, but I can't afford to get addicted to something else. And Instagram... I daren't find out what that is!

      God bless!

  7. This disease must be catchy, Sue. I've had it, I've got it, and I'll likely
    come down with it again. I've wondered what the heck it was called and now I know: EIO. Thanks for the diagnosis, Dr. Sue! If you figure out a cure (that doesn't involve giving up the computer for good) please let me know. I hope you feel better soon :)

    (A terrible disease, just terrible! It infects my whole family sometimes!)

    1. Mary,

      Oh no! I hope it wasn't me who gave you EIO. I've had it a while and I've been on your blog a lot lately. I should have noticed the symptoms earlier. Perhaps I didn't want to face it. You know... bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away. Give up the computer for good? I think I'd rather suffer the disease! I wonder if there is a vaccination against EIO...

  8. And you said in a blog recently that you weren't funny ... lady you have certainly tickled my funny bone once again. Stay sane. xxx

    1. Lisa,

      I'm glad you laughed! Stay sane? I fear it is too late. Strange stories are starting to enter my head and my fingers can't stop typing them out. Seriously, I think I have a problem!

      God bless!

  9. This is such a well written, and oh so true post on a widespread illness (ah-CHOOO). I think it must be a modern day plague. No wonder I've never done Facebook (will NOT start!)

    And now an extra Rx from Dr. Nancy: do NOT respond to this comment! :)

    1. Nancy,

      Don't tell me you have EIO too! Oh no! You're obviously spending too much time on my blog. Oh well, too late now. It's no use limiting your visits at this late stage. You might as well keep reading. Though after Lisa's comment, I think I might be going insane. Is that catching?

      Did you know I never follow a doctor's advice?

  10. Hahaha! So true, Sue. I don't do Facebook, Twitter, etc. I hang out and read blogs and that is enough sometimes to cause me EIO. Love your sense of humor about it. We can all sympathize. : )

    1. Stephanie,

      You are very wise restricting yourself to blogs. But even that can be a problem. I think I've followed a few too many. I wonder if you are more restrained than me! Thanks for laughing.

      God bless!

  11. I am having a bad case of "this" today myself... totally overloaded, turning off the computer and not going to LET myself turn it on again today even for a quick check because we all know what such things can turn into!

    For one thing, it has occurred to me that even though I do blogs, I am under NO OBLIGATION to write in them except when Our Lord directs or I just "want" to. People are not rending their garments when I haven't posted anything new in a few days.

    So, knowing the garments of the world are safe, I can go DO OTHER THINGS......!

  12. I just wrote a long comment and lost it while posting. A SURE sign of what I was saying: which is that today I have DREADFUL computer fatigue. Nothing like living what you're saying!

    1. Nancy,

      Both your comments arrived so they were both meant to be read! I'm sorry to hear you've got computer fatigue. It sounds like you shouldn't have been on the computer writing a comment (or two) on my post. Then again, maybe you needed to talk to a fellow sufferer. That does help. You know, I've been feeling so much better since I wrote this post and received all these beautiful comments. Sometimes talking things over is the best medicine.

      Now it is my turn to be the doctor. Dr Sue says turn off the computer. We will miss your posts if you are away for a few days but... we understand, and when you return we will be eager to hop straight over to your blog and devour anything new. Also, we can read your archives in the meantime. I'm sure everyone has plenty of interesting posts hidden away. We get distracted with new posts, but the old ones are well worth digging through as well.

      I hope you feel better soon. God bless!

  13. Sue, this is so hysterical! I can hardly stop laughing! I of course am also infected. Thank you for finding a name for this very addictive disease. We definitely need a support group. Wouldn't it be interesting if everyone infected agreed not to post anything new for a week? Hmmm, wonder if withdrawal could be fatal?!

    At any rate, Nancy needs to know that I do indeed rend my garments on days she doesn't post :) And...I think EIO will surely do me in if you ever stop writing these hilarious posts!

    Thanks Sue, for another day-brightener...which most of us can identify with xoxoxo

    1. Patricia,

      You are laughing when I am sick, very sick! Seriously, I am glad you are smiling over my post. I am sure lots of bloggers understand exactly what I mean by EIO. Yes, a support group is definitely needed. An online support group as Kari suggested!

      I think your idea of everyone having a post-free week is excellent. It could be a new meme: Link up if you're not writing any posts next week. Or we could have an old post meme: Link up an old post. That would take the pressure off! Actually I like that idea very much. Perhaps we should try it out!

      It is always wonderful to chat to you, Patricia. Thank you for stopping by!

  14. Oh my! I understand how you feel. I had a facebook account about two years ago, but I deleted because of the same reason and I told half of the people I wrote to I could not keep up with them and I would have to take a break from writing to them. They all understood and said I could take as long as like to get better, but for some reason I never got back to emailing. It felt good not to have to keep up with everyone, but know I am back into it with my blog. I never thought I would get one, but really to tell the truth, I was a bit lonely, so don't give up everything.

    I am sure you will get better, I did and so I know that it is possible. I hope you have a good break from facebook. It is a bother sometimes.

    I hope that you don't mind me commenting. It was just I had to tell you that you can get better and I am sure you are already feeling much better.


    1. Charlotte-Mary,

      Welcome to my blog! And thank you for following me!

      I see you are Ruth's sister and have just started blogging. I hope you will enjoy your blog. There are some lovely people in the blogging community. I would miss them very much if I gave up blogging. You are quite right: I shouldn't give up everything.

      Of course I don't mind you commenting. I like to meet new friends. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello. Please feel welcome to comment whenever you like.

      God bless!


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