Google Productivity Pad: The Internet: The Black Hole of Time

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Internet: The Black Hole of Time

My father is a research agronomist, he studies soil and plants. One thing he has taught me is that sunflowers and teenage boys have a commonality. This is that sunflowers will always consume as much water as they have available to them, teenage boys are the same way with food.
I have found that the Internet is the same way with time. Whatever amount of time you have, the Internet will consume it if it is allowed to. This can be a drain on productivity if we allow it to be.

I have recently been brought to consider this effect on my own life by the disappearance of the Internet from my current apartment. I have been bound to using public wifi at school and the library, or using my karma hotspot. This is the reason you have not seen me post anything in the last week.

Needless to say I have not been much of a happy camper about this situation. It has however forced me to realize how much of my time at home I tend to spend on the Internet. I can measure this by the amount of time I spend wandering aimlessly around the house doing nothing. Most of this aimless time would normally be spent doing nothing anyway, only in front of a screen if I had Internet.

Now this is not to say that the Internet is always a waste of time. There are many productive things I normally do, like blogging and learning to code, that I am not able to do without the Internet. But it is to say that I am realizing that the Internet probably sucks away more of my free time than it needs to and even more than I want it to.

In many ways because I only have limited amounts of Internet at defined times and places right now I feel as thought I am back in the age of dial up Internet. Now some of you may not remember those early days of the web, but we were not always connected back then. We bought Internet time in hour packages and had to tie up our phone lines to use it. So we planned out what we would do on the Internet and trie to accomplish as much as possible with each connection.

This what I am struggling to do again. I am so use to having the web available to me every moment of everyday that I don't really plan out my use of it. And because I don't plan and so many of the things I do are dependent on the Internet I have found myself to be quite lost lately. I have to relearn to plan out what I will use the Internet for when I do have it in order to be able to do what I need to offline.

This is not a fun experience for me. It is not one that I like, but since it upon me I believe I can learn something from it. The internet like everything is a tool, it is up to me how I use it. If I am intentional about it, then it can be a great blessing. If I am not intentional it can end up sucking away all the time available to it, like a black hole does to light.

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Thanks for reading, and remember, live better.

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