Just about everyone uses the Internet. We can all access, more or less, the same things, yet each one of us uses the Internet in extremely different ways. Personally, I’ve never put too much thought into my Internet usage. I’m not one of those people who sit in front of a computer screen all day, squinting violently when I venture out into the bright light of day…but I do turn to the internet when I have nothing better to do. Checking up on the lives of my friends via Facebook or Twitter, browsing Reddit or searching for new music online didn’t ever seem like a big deal. My boredom-induced activities didn’t take over my life in any way shape or form, nor was it ever “difficult” to get up and walk away from my computer. Several times I’ve heard the term “internet addiction” and listened as people older than I preached about my generation’s dependence on technology, but I never took it as a serious issue.
In one of my Interactive Digital Design classes, we were asked to complete a log, documenting our internet usage down to exact time spent on every single website we visited for a whole week. When I started to fill out my log, I realized that I really do go on the Internet more than I realized. Even if it was only for a few minutes, just checking in on my Facebook’s newsfeed or checking an email or two, I never realized how many times a day I’m on the World Wide Web. By seeing how many times a day I went on the Internet made me stop using the Internet so much.
It’s strange really, how many things in everyday life reminded me of the Internet. Almost as if I couldn’t get away from it. My friends would all be talking about that funny thing they saw on Reddit.com or the pictures another friend posted onto Facebook and every other commercial on TV ended with “like us on Facebook/Twitter!”
I think that the Internet is an ever-present thing in all of our lives and how and when we choose to use it all depends on the individual. I try not to use the Internet too much, especially now after realizing exactly how much I go on the computer. Others might go on the computer 10x more than I do but as long as it doesn’t start taking over their lives, hopefully it won’t ever turn into a problem.