The Internet Today: Valuable Tool or Major Distraction

Is today’s Internet a valuable tool, or a major distraction? Yes. But neither fact has any value in and of itself. So what if it is a valuable tool? To hackers, thieves, and other, rapscallions, the Internet has been a gateway to riches beyond their wildest dreams, while making it harder for them to get caught. 

Image credit: Live Science

On the other hand, many productive people stopped to waste a little time on Facebook, only to find their future spouse. Neither productivity nor distraction has value. The value rests entirely on what we make of it. 

Here’s how to make the best of both:


The Internet as a Welcome Distraction

Usually, I work some part of all 7 days a week. I can assure you that distractions are welcome and healthy additions to my time at the keyboard. The Internet is a perfect place for those much needed distractions. The key is choosing those distractions, and putting boundaries around them. 

Facebook, Youtube, and Candy Crush represent the big three: social networks, videos, and games. Personally, I can lose hours in these activities. What time I don’t spend in Facebook, I make up in the other two. Candy Crush is especially good because of the business model. Fully loaded, you only get five lives at a time. Use them up, and you have to wait quite a while before they are replenished. Since I am not remotely tempted to pay to play, I have a built-in time limit. 


I like fairly obscure videos. Even on Youtube, there are only so many. Twitter is an app that a lot of people keep open all the time in a small window. It distracts in tiny doses throughout the day, rather than in one, big chunk of time. There is even evidence that some Internet distractions improve workplace productivity. Humans need distractions. And the Internet is a good one.


The Internet as a Valuable Tool

Image Credit: Huffington Post

When it comes time to treat the Internet like the valuable tool it is, one of the things you might need to do is build a website for your enterprise. Every website you visit is hosted by someone. Without web hosting, the Internet would just be a series of private message boards you probably couldn’t access. 

For the robust, productive experience to which you have grown accustomed, web hosting provides services like:

  • SSL Secure Server
  • FTP Users & SubUsers
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social Networking Ad Credits
  • …And more

These things may not sound particularly exciting or productive. But without them, the web as we know it simply does not exist. 


All Work All the Time

The Internet is such a valuable tool, it allows people to do all sorts of work, at all times. This is not necessarily a good thing. It is often abused by employers who give employees company smartphones and laptops, so that for the employee, the workday is never really over. Via the Internet, what they do in the office can be extended to their home, at the ballgame with their kids, and even to their beach vacations. 

There are few types of work that can’t be done online, at least to some extent. Business people separated by an ocean can have a face-to-face meeting without latency. Doctors can do surgery on a patient in a different part of the world. And gamblers can loose their shirts without ever seeing the face of the person who won it. 


New York claims to be the city that never sleeps. Having been to New York, I can assure you that the little pizzeria down the street in lower Manhattan will eventually close for the night. The Internet, on the other hand, truly, never sleeps.

It is no use trying to decide if the Internet is a force for good, or a force for bad. Like gravity and magnetism, it is just a force. Use it wisely.

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