You know what they say about having too much of a good thing....
– Mitchell Kapor
And, gee, don’t we know it. In fact, we know the wonders of the net so well that the average Canadian now spends around 34 hours a week online. That’s an estimated five hours a day. And, that means our net-surfing has pretty much become a part-time job.
On the face of things, there’s nothing wrong with that. You could even argue that spending time online is better than, say, watching television. After all, you can make your own choices on the web. You won’t waste time watching something ‘just because it’s on’. What’s more, the wide variety of activities available seems to justify that time frame.
But, still, there are constant calls to lessen our browsing time. And, in many ways, it’s easy to see why. The main issue is that the average user doesn’t dip into the vast capabilities of the online world. Instead, we frequent the same websites and repeat the same bad habits. This is when our internet addiction can get damaging. If you think these bad habits apply to you, read on to find out how you could better use your time online.
Keep up with friends instead of spying on them
Social media advocates say pages like Facebook are going a long way to ease loneliness. Sure, we’re all alone on our computers, but we’re together in that, right? Seriously, though; on the face of it, social media is a fantastic way to keep in touch. Forget snail mail; we can now contact friends in a matter of seconds. And, that connectivity is undoubtedly a positive. In reality, though, many would argue that social media is causing depression and worsening feelings of loneliness. Why?
Because few of us actually use our time on these sites to communicate. Instead, we scroll through people’s pictures and status updates. We spy on ex-lovers, and we compare and contrast our lives with everyone else. We relish in people’s misery, and we scowl at their success. And, all without talking to a single person. So, perhaps the real secret to mastering social media is dedicating it to solely socializing. Check your messages and keep in contact with friends, but try to avoid scrolling through your newsfeed for a week. It might just have a transformative impact.
Double your money, don’t spend it
Ahh, online shopping. This baby has made buying easier than ever before, and aren’t we all grateful for it? Instead of traipsing around the shops, you can now get what you need (and what you don’t) from the comfort of your home. Be it 3 am or mid-day, you can get on that shopping cart. And, who cares if you spend a fortune. It’s not REAL money, right? You don’t see it, and you don’t even have anything to show for it straight away. Sorry to break it to you, but late night purchases will seem all too real when your bank statement comes around. Yet, we still fall into the trap of browsing for items we would never even look twice at in a real store. Something about the glow of your computer screen makes those slippers for your cat look like something you just NEED in your life. Lucky for you, it’s possible to cut this bad habit, too.
As well as helping you spend your money, the internet can double it. Why not set up your own online shop, and sell cat slippers you’ve knitted yourself? Or, you know, something a little more useful, like slippers for humans, perhaps. Or, start a blog and see if you can earn some extra income that way. Don’t fancy the effort? Why not find some reliable online casinos which give you a chance to double your finances? Be careful, though. Fail to limit yourself, and this could slip into the bad habit realm. But, done right, all these options can make money instead of costing you. And, that’s what we call time well spent.
We’ve all diagnosed a few mental health issues online. Once you start reading symptoms on Dr Google, it’s easy to fit yourself into a condition. Is it any wonder we’re in one of the most neurotic ages? While online access to symptoms has benefits, we’re all guilty of misdiagnosis. So, put Dr. Google to the side. Why not use the net to work through existing issues, instead? Blogging, for instance, can be an excellent way to work through worries and anxieties. After all, this is like a journal, with the benefit of feedback from people you’ll never meet. And, that can be more therapeutic than you’d imagine. Or, you could make use of one of the many online counselling services. That way, you get to talk to a real professional who won’t stick labels on you like they’re going out of fashion.
We’re also living in a world of comparison. Who hasn’t visited sites like Pinterest and wished their home could be pretty, or their life more aesthetic? Often, we waste hours looking at images of how we wish we could be. And, we never actually do anything to achieve the goals. So, we end our online sessions feeling inadequate and ready to give up. There’s nothing wrong with searching for how you’d like your life to look, as long as you do something about it. Don’t just look at that dream decor style. Create a Pinterest board and damn well set about collecting enough examples to get started. Don’t just imagine that dream sofa. Start saving and make sure you get it!
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