Internet Time

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I’ve been thinking about how much time is “necessary” at day on the computer. The internet definitely makes some things in my life much easier. I use it to research just about anything that I need to gather knowledge on. But the extra time, the “TV” time as it could be referred to, is what I’m worried about. It is so easy blowing an hour on the computer with no long term benefits.

I hardly ever read the newspapers that come to our house anymore. Most of the time, the news is 12 hours old and I’ve already heard about it through NPR or on the internet. I can completely understand why most newspapers are in dire financial troubles. It is a dying breed.

I saw on a video on the Wall Street Journal’s Digits, that Proctor and Gamble have limited internet use for its 129,000 employees. Mainly Pandora radio, Youtube and Netflix. I can’t imagine owning a company that allows the streaming of Netflix movies. They obviously think it’s a big problem. It must be, because adding the amount of time people are spending on Facebook, along to streaming movies at work, I’d think the productivity of most employees have been reduced dramatically.

But, I’m just worried about my productivity. Actually, I’m not so worried about my productivity, I’m worried about my quality of life. I hardly watch any TV. But I do watch sports on the internet, which is virtually the same as TV. Mainly bike racing, but that doesn’t matter, it is sitting and watching instead of doing and participating.

I’ll eventually get the whole thing figured out. It is hard to try to come to terms on what is quality computer time and what is filler.

I usually read some of the WSJ, but a lot of the other times, the paper never leaves its bag.

10 thoughts on “Internet Time

  1. T-Bone

    Completely agree that internet is a waste of time. Humans are remembering less because our brains know that we can retrieve the information at the click of a button (our brains are smart!) Instead of constant connectivity to the world through computers and smart phones, I would rather participate and be a part of the real world; the real world is the greatest thing we have to enjoy.

  2. Wildcat

    I will always be interested in reading a news paper. However, just one every Sunday. Any more than that and they just hit the recycling bin. During the week I get my news through various sources on the internet, but I’ll be dammed if I can’t sit with my coffee each Sunday morning and read a REAL paper. BTW – I am in my 20’s. I will be pissed off in 40 years when I’m on the other side of 60 if they don’t print actual newspapers anymore. That would be ~2052. Hmmm… I wonder.

  3. John

    Internet a waste of time?
    Wow. T-Bone, you do realize that you use the internet to read Steve’s blog huh?

    I see a very different post from Steve. Reflecting upon what distractions we have in life and what is useful and not. At times the internet is a huge distraction and can cause real problems. Other times it’s the complete opposite.

    Anyone who has done research knows the value of having articles and other resources at their fingertips 24/7/365 because of the internet. Advancements in medicine saving lives is just one example.

  4. Jim

    When I was still working (before retirement) my company had computers but we had no internet access. Still people found ways to screw off including finding noises on the computers or playing solitaire of chess. LOTS of screw off time.
    Today they have internet. I can not imagine how little work gets done. It is easy to understand why a company would limit the use of the computers and I would have no problem with terminating an employee who violates a company policy on it. After all, you are paid to work, not Facebook.
    Jusst my $.02.

  5. Wildcat

    Silly silly. No matter how a company tries to limit my computer usage, I still have my 4G phone. It’s fast enough for me while searching the web, my YouTube app makes watching videos quick and easy, I can access my home NetFlix account through my NetFlix app, and with my full qwerty slide-out keyboard it’s almost like a little lap-top sitting on my desk. My company can limit all they want or use web filters or block whatever site they want. My office computer is just tip of the iceberg as far as my goof-off time is concerned. HOWEVER, I still get my shit done. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people kind of thing.

  6. Jim

    Assuming you are directing that at me, I doubt it. Your statement that “My office computer is just tip of the iceberg as far as my goof-off time is concerned. HOWEVER, I still get my shit done” simply isn’t possible.
    Either you don’t get it done, you aren’t given enough work or your work place has very low expectations. Maybe all of them.
    YOU may believe that but I would doubt that the owners of the company would agree. How would you work if you owned the company? Would you be okay with workers that have that attitude? Somehow I doubt it.
    If you do own the company I guess you can do as you choose but no owner I ever knew had that attitude.
    Out of curiosity, why do you think it is okay to watch videos, no matter how you do it, while being paid to work?
    Regarding ways a company can stop it, that would be so easy that if you don’t see it you are really living in a dream world.
    Enjoy your “job” while you have it.

  7. H Luce

    Overproductive employees make life hell for their co-workers and they make their bosses look like slackers, too. No one likes overproductive employees – so what you do is work at the same pace as everyone else in the office, and screw off the same amount as everyone else. That way, everyone gets along fine and the work still gets done without people getting pissed off, and bosses getting shown up by their workers.

  8. Wayne

    Like many things the internet is just a tool, eg it enables children in remote towns in Africa to gain updated information for learning. I owe my entire career to it as otherwise i would have never had the opportunity (i grew up in southern africa) to participate in opensource software development and in the process new friends and career opportunities. It’s easy to waste time on it to no benefit (and sometimes thats ok too) but its not the internet burning your time.

  9. Wildcat

    Well… I guess it is really a nice balance. Kind of like H Luce is describing. Yes, I watch videos sometimes. Mostly during down times. Of course, I work in the service industry and if a client needs anything it’s not like I tell them they have to wait until i’m finished with this season’s Walking Dead on NetFlix. Also, I’m on salary and put in 10 hour days. Don’t take “formal” breaks with other staff. Work through my lunch hour. And come in on Saturdays 50% of the time. Yes, on a slow Thursday afternoon you might find me watching videos. But I always get my stuff done like I said and do a great job at it. The owners of the company are fine with that. I’m very good at what I do and our clients love me. I do enjoy my “dream” job. But really, nobody has a dream job like Steve does. I was just trying to convey the point that a company can do everything in the world to restrict internet use, but no matter what you’re still going to have 75% of employees who walk around with the internet in their front pocket all day everyday. And that number is only going to increase. I will use another analogy. No matter the security system at your house; if someone wants to break in bad enough they will find a way in.


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