Media…you’re going down!

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As Hippocratic as this may sound, seeing as I’m posting this on a form of media, so let me clarify, I simply want to send a message urging the average person to cut back on the time that they spend on the internet.  So often I see this, a friend on their computer looking at stumble upon, pintrest, tumblr, wanelo, etc. or watching the television and seeing something or some character and saying to themselves or out loud “I want to go there” or “I want to make that”  or even “I want to do that” but no matter what they always refer to it as “cool”.  I have no problem with these statements, heck the internet is a wonderful tool for discovery and sharing, but because of the countless hours my friends log on these sites they never have the time or motivation to go to any of these places, or make any of these things, or do any of these activities!  Instead they are seeing life through the eyes of others, vicariously living through their computer screen some other person’s life instead of their own.  I will admit to having a stumble upon account and frequenting wanelo as well as being a fervent ‘How I met your mother’ watcher, but the difference is I actually do what I see! (within reason of course)  Do not get me wrong, it has taken years of conscious actions for me to even be able to shut down my laptop and consider trying something new.  Media has inspired me to do an experience so many new things and because I have control over myself and how many hours I choose to log on my computer and television set, I have a healthy balance between media and living life.  I guess I’ve failed to mention my intention; if I can do it then so can you!

But were I ever to actually find the cajones and start a vendetta against media my symbol would probably be a mirror.  In place of a t.v. or computer screen there would be a mirror with the words ‘to do’.  This is to represent self concentration, that instead of looking at someone else’s life, the viewers sees themselves and their incomplete to-do list. My mask would be a face with a television as one eye and a laptop as the other so to symbolize the wearer as seeing and experiencing life through the media.  The mouth of the mask will be slightly open in a hypnotized gape so as to show the power of fascination that the internet has over oneself. Ideally I would seek for there to be at least two hours a day that the internet shuts down all sites that are not strictly credited educational sites and research databases, and that televisions would only show educational programming,  that way if the person is still unwilling to get off the computer or television, at least he/she is learning something.

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About adorableangst

I am from apples, from pepperidge farms and vanilla I am from my Grandmother's paintings that hang on the walls I am from the cut grass, the sunflower I am from the disgusting cinnamon roll Christmas tree From Brennah, Jami and Gary I am from the bad jokes and "go fish", from "go to college" and "always forgive" I'm from "here I stand I cannot differ" I'm from Germany, cajun fried turkey and gumbo From the time my twin sister ran into the mirror thinking it was me and the the fact that that was not the first time. I am from the shelves and shelves of scrapbooks and memories in my living room (and more recently facebook), who's contents are untouched by time...and won't be

3 responses »

  1. I completly agree with what you are saying. Every night I can think of at least ten things I should have done throughout the day that I didn’t do because I was using the internet, or watching television, or watching other people use the internet or watch television.

  2. This post really caught my interest! I totally agree that the internet sometimes prevents people from going out and living their own lives to the fullest. I love your creative solution to the problem as well.

  3. The internet is a devastating timewaster for me. It can be helpful to think of time usage in a cumulative sense. You might remember my discussion on how a bad movie literally (indirectly, but yes, literally–not figuratively) kills people.

    Imagine wasting an average of two hours a day on the internet on non-educational, non-informative, non-enlightening material–essentially, fluff that does not either enrich one’s life or help them enrich the lives or others. I haven’t found statistics about this stuff, but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere.

    About 75% of households have a computer, according to some quick Googling. I’m not sure how many individuals that is.

    I can’t really get a lock on how many people or hours we’re talking about, but it’s clearly a lot. Let’s just say one in ten people in the United States wastes two hours a day on “fluff” websites. From our personal experience of our own usage and that of others we know, I think we can grant that this seems plausible as a low-end estimate–at least until statistics are found that say otherwise, and they well might.

    The US population is about 300 million. 30 million, then, waste 2 hours online per day–60 million hours are wasted per day. A person’s lifetime has 657,000 hours if they live for 75 years. By these numbers, in terms of time usage, 100 people are killed each day by the internet. If my numbers are too low, even more are killed. If my numbers are high, it is still surely more than a dozen killed each day.

    Not to mention that around 21,000 children die per day of poverty-related causes, according to UNICEF. How much time are we spending on the internet that we could spend contributing time–or making money to donate–to lowering that number? Now, it seems less trivial.

    We can also think of it on an individual level. Even spending one hour online for things that are not enriching–I am not counting pursuing valued hobbies or goals among this, nor spirited discussion on forums with intelligent people, but rather only perusing material on Tumblr, Facebook, and the like–that’s 7 hours per week, about 30 per month. A day and a quarter per month, lost. 15 days per year. About 225 days–about 2/3 of a year–in a lifetime.

    This is fairly crude, of course, not accounting for how babies don’t use the internet (presumably). Nor am I checking my maths carefully, this this is a blog comment and not a research project. But it seems the internet still takes nearly 2/3 of a year away from you, if you waste an average of an hour a day online. I may have lost a month or more already, from spending multiple hours a day on the internet for much of the past few years. I have only recently made a decision to put an end to it. (Actually, I’ve made multiple such decisions, but my lack of free time this semester has finally forced me to stick to it.)

    My high school English teacher Dr. Tomshany once said “When you think you’re killing time, you’re not killing time. You’re killing yourself.” I spent about 40 minutes writing this comment. I’ve killed part of myself to comment on your blog, Devin.

    Also, “Hippocratic” is the oath doctors take. The word you intended was “hypocritical.” (Also, it’s ironic!) Also, be warned: I’m now on the warpath regarding people who misuse the word “whenever” in cases where the word “when” would be more correct. You might call me a grammar nazi–but imagine what a better world it would be if Hitler had led an army of grammar nazis instead of regular nazis!

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