A recent survey conducted by the Stanford Institute of Quantitative Study of
Society concluded that "Internet time is coming out of time viewing television but also
at the expense of time people spend on the phone gabbing with family and friends, or
having a conversation with people in the room with them." Brilliant. As you follow the
world-class Olympic athletes competing in Sydney, Australia this summer, ask them
if their training interfered with socializing. How much time do you think the space
shuttle astronauts who repaired the Hubble telescope spent watching TV?
Ask yourself what affect your Net usage
is having on activities you used to enjoy. I'll help you get started by telling on
myself. It is fair to say I'm addicted to the Internet. OK, are you
satisfied? I said it. I am powerless over the Internet, and my life has become
Television really does suck these days, but when
did that start? Hmmm. Suddenly golf and camping and day-trips have become too
expensive. No, actually they've become too time consuming. I had a second phone line
installed at home dedicated to the modem. Now I wish I still only had one, so the
dang voice line would QUIT RINGING! I have longer conversations via email with people
I've never met than I do on the job with folks I've known for 25 years.
You know, maybe there's something to that sociology
study after all. The Internet certainly has changed my life. Let's try to decide if
that's good or bad. Scorecards ready? I used to spend an hour every day reading my
local newspaper, and close to another
hour watching television news. Now I get a daily digest of the topics that interest me
in a matter of minutes through my personally configured Web news portal. Add one point.
Every other day my wife says I don't love her anymore.
Would I rather be debugging that tricky CSS browser compatibility problem or having a
meaningful conversation about the grout in the bathroom? Should I finish that digital
photo edit I've been working on for four days, or give her that "just hold me" lovin'
that women seem to need? Well, maybe she makes a case. Better subtract one point.
Did you know that "If the head of a cockroach is
removed carefully, so as to prevent it from bleeding to death, the cockroach can
survive for several weeks? When it dies, it is from starvation." I didn't, until I
found the Useless
Knowledge web site. Definitely a point for the Internet.
Talk about annoying. Lately every time it rains
around here my back porch floods. Oh, you mean it's because I haven't cleaned out
the gutters in over a year? Well, I can only do one thing at a time. Yeah, but why
is that one thing always the Internet? Oops, please excuse me while I scee-daddle out
back, and take away a point while I'm at it.
I am supplementing the income from my day job through
all the fabulous things I'm doing on the Internet. I've made $400 in site
design commissions the past two years. Just in the last three months I've received
affiliate checks for
$105, $28.30, $17.80, and that one I've been working on for fifteen months that
finally pays out at $25 is only a few weeks away. Can't beat that with a stick.
Maybe I better look closer into this one. Let's see,
$215/year web hosting fee, $19.95/month ISP charges, $800+ on graphics design software
I'm still no good at. Gee, I'm not even covering my expenses am I? But the potential's
out there. Yep, that's what I'll keep telling the bill collectors. You just wait. I'm
going to hit the big one any day now.
Well, that's me. How did you score? Now that we've
proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the positive influence of the Internet on our lives,
we can move on to shared experiences of times in the technological fast-lane. They
don't call it the cyber highway for nothing. I hope you'll join me again as I talk regularly
about Life and Times on the Internet. I'll be back as soon as I move my desk out of
the corner, and right beside my bed, so I can save time checking email when I get a
nature call at 3AM.
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