Do You Need to Cut Back On Internet Usage?

Do You Need to Cut Back On Internet Usage?

Mike Tyson
Nov 2, 2011

The internet is a double edged sword. At once it can be an incredibly efficient tool in communication, research, entertainment, and so on. But it can also be a major distraction. We want to know how good your self-control is. Are you browsing the internet constantly throughout the workday? Do you helplessly check it over the weekend even though you have other projects to attend to? Or maybe you're perfectly capable of signing off completely and buckling down to do some work. We're curious to hear your answers. We have some of our own, as well as some possible solutions to help stop your procrastinating.

We find that when we're at work, it is easier for us to cut back on aimless internet usage. Our troubles start when it comes to leisure time. We are easily out of the house more often than we are home so pulling ourselves away from the computer in that sense is not the problem. What becomes the issue is when we're home, with no urgent task at hand, we are always drawn to the computer. Our "to read" stack of magazines and books is piling up and yet we can never seem to find the strength to peel ourselves away from the computer in order to do other things we want to do.

But it's not like we're constantly consumed by enlightening content when we're online. Sometimes we find ourselves spiraling into a Tumblr black hole with its endless photos and infinite scroll, it's easy to lose an hour just paging through random images. This kind of aimless browsing is what we decided to first cut out of our daily internet usage. We decided when we're online it should be more purposeful than simply finding ways to pass the time. Second, we cut out a lot of blogs from our reading list that seemed to repeat a lot of the content we found elsewhere. In effect, we're more interested in finding blogs with the original content/reporting and not really the blogs that simply repost stories from elsewhere.

Lastly, we think there is a third, more quantitative approach to preventing wasted time online. We decided to employ a basic timer on our computer, just to give us a heads up as we're browsing so we know how much time we're spending online and when we should probably back off and move on to something else. If you're looking for a good digital timer that keeps you from procrastinating, we have a nice roundup of them here.

How do you manage your internet time? Responsibly? Or is there a lot of room for improvement (like us)?

(Images: Flickr members Ed Yourdon and mbschn licensed for use under Creative Commons.)

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