I am, without a doubt, guilty of spending too much time staring blankly at a screen. It would be unfair to attribute this habit to the shift of academia to the digital world as I admit that the majority of my screen time is dedicated to social media sites and the links I visit as a result of seeing them on social media. I used to simply accept that the time I spent scrolling through my social feeds was wasted time. I mean, one of the sites I frequently check is literally called iwastesomuchtime.com! However, after reading Alexis Grant’s article I have realized that not all the time I take out of my day to browse the internet is wasted.
This article suggests that the activity of “wasting time” on the internet can actually lead to new information, inspiration, and ideas that you would have otherwise not have thought of. I found this way of looking at my daily habit as inspiring and refreshingly optimistic! After being constantly nagged and berated for looking at my phone too much or always checking social media, it is uplifting to read a positive point of view. The idea that I am not wasting precious time but instead helping myself learn and grow is especially comforting.
In addition to providing relief that I am not just squandering time and energy scrolling through the internet, the article forced me think back and reflect on times when browsing the web lead me to new discoveries. On countless occasions my social media feeds have taken me to new accounts or profiles with unique perspectives, content, and inspirations I would have otherwise not have found. Just recently while on Twitter, I stumbled upon a girl who lives in Belgium and is also interested in fashion! I am also constantly finding articles and stories that help my knowledge of culture and current events grow, thus keeping me informed.
Thanks to Grant’s article I can stop feeling guilty about the time I spend on social media and the internet. Of course, there is still a need to moderate my time in front of the screen, but now I can feel confident that my time is not wasted when I am learning and exploring on the web.
How has wasting time online benefitted you?
P.S. The image above is of my adorable bulldog Winston. He likes to help me browse the internet (: