The Internet balancing act between wasting time and striving for greatness


Nicholas here, fresh off freaking out over Shogun Rua’s loss last night. (I hate to use the word “robbed,” but Mr. Rua was 100 percent robbed last night. Later today: watching Dream 12!) I just wanted to draw your attention to a New York Times essay I just stumbled upon. It’s about the Internet, and our increased dependence upon it. It’s pretty short, so it won’t kill you to read the whole thing.

The basic thesis, nearest I can tell, is that the Internet has taken over our lives; that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Is it harmful to spend 20+ hours playing an online video game at the expense of “real life” contact, or at the expense of school or work? Yeah, probably. But, as the Internet, and computers in general, move away from a work/school-only phenomenon and converge with our lesser activities (entertainment and the like) we become susceptible to, well, losing ourselves in it. That is, “Man alive, I’m been here three hours, and all I’ve been doing is looking up old Ric Flair promos on YouTube, and then doing the related Wikipedia shuffle. I went from looking up Starrcade to the concept of sovereignty in just a few clicks! And I have articles to write, (and Dream 12 to watch)!”

Yes, the essay is a little hinky.

The question becomes how to properly allocate your time online between the pointless and the slightly less pointless. Do you download an application that kicks you offline, and keeps you there? Do you study/work from a place that has zero Internet access? Or do you embrace the fact that, well, this is how we do things from now on: working right alongside 18 tabs about the history of Nintendo and the Monday Night Wars?