Foregoing leisure for reality
Ironically, the global network system of interconnected computers we use called the “net” or the “web” shares a name with a trap designed to capture unsuspecting fish and insects. I won’t be discussing a conspiracy theory or fact, depending on who you ask, that we are being spied on by our government through our devices. Instead, I’ll explain some of my problems with using the internet immensely for leisure at the cost of money, time, friends and family.
I’m certain you use the internet at least every week. The internet is very important for work, communication and fun. I will specifically focus on the “fun” aspect. I live in an underground apartment, so after a long day of work, I don’t have much going on here in town. I don’t hang around places like Twitter or Snapchat. I frequent YouTube, and Facebook, however. I enjoy documentaries, usually biographing people’s lives, how they rose to prominence, tasted triumph, stumbled with failure and either regained their reputation or didn’t. But do I need to? I’ll argue “No,” or at least not as much as I have been.
According to a “2022 Internet Statistics” page, I read, courtesy of dailywireless.org, “as of January 2019, there are 4.4 billion active internet users, equivalent to 57% of the global population.” In a similar usage stats page on Zappedia.com, the world’s top 20 countries have more than 75% internet users in the population. I must concur, it’s quite handy to use the Internet to find this sort of information.
Almost two years back, I left a comment on a trending video that also trended and received many replies. However, the replies became hostile, not aimed at me but at other users. Soon I saw that I had unintentionally brought about a facet in which a knife fight of words conspired. I simply deleted the comment and all those comments with it, realizing that everyone has opinions and didn’t like seeing others being picked on for their honest opinions. You don’t usually think someone’s words will be harmful until they are.
On the plus side, however, I didn’t see any disturbingly Freudian sentiments on this thread.
The internet is helpful for work and communication but immensely superficial in entertainment.
After reviewing media-related products for three years, I have truly understood how unneeded such entertainment is, especially if there is no shortage of it. I had a troublesome spending habit on media-related products ranging from books, audiobooks, music CDs and feature films. The euphoria of receiving them through the mail wore off, and I realized last month that I barely took the time to view, listen to or enjoy any of those products. In budgeting, I realized I was spending triple-digits worth of dollars on such items I didn’t use much.
The reason the internet is so addicting is that it’s easy to access endless amounts of whatever you want to find or view. I use the internet to provide background music quite often, ignoring other products I have. For example, I purchased from a nearby thrift store many CDs or classical music from composers who time forgot who, in the opinion of this writer, are underrated. I could forgo the internet for a day and just listen to any one of those ten CD’s.
Instead, I turn to YouTube and click on whatever music mix of classical music based solely off of the beautiful looking oil-painting or digitally-designed thumbnail. Then I tune to a different video only after that one begins because I get semi-bored and antsy for a different sound, or just like another thumbnail. The more you have of a product, the less it’s worth, which makes me wonder how much an endless plethora of similar content is.
I realized I should spend that time with my friends and family, who are important because they usually bring out the best in me and are more important than anything mediated. Of course, there’s the long-distance between homes with the gas prices being what they are, but you can still communicate with them through the phone. I usually try to call some relatives unexpectedly in the evening for a genuine conversation, informal but helpful.
I have a book and DVD pack of “Gourmet Cooking,” which I haven’t yet approached. I’m too busy rewatching documentaries online and binging memes or Vines I’ve seen at least ten times to care about putting much work into a meal.
To my embarrassing amusement, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Will Smith strike everyone and everything at this point. Feeling I wasted too much time, I resolved to have at least three days in which I don’t use the internet for leisure and one day in which I don’t open the computer for any reason. I use this as a beneficial form of self-limitation and focus on life and my place in it. I can be more conscientious about community meetings, family activities or job opportunities by simply using the internet as a tool and not a television.
In the end, there is too much quality in real life to waste time on the quantity of the internet. It’s difficult to pull away from superficial distractions to focus on conserving time and money and focusing more on friends and family. I am still trying to pull away and am humbly satisfied with the results of saving money, forming stronger bonds with my friends and family more often and actually enjoying my purchased products; and I just realized how underrated Hadyn’s symphonies are because of this.