Let’s face it. Idle time is so easily spent now that we’re all connected. There are an innumerable number of things that can entertain you online. But as with all things in life, moderation is key, so too many hours spent in front of the computer can be really bad. Here are a few signs to help you determine if you’re spending way too much time on the internet.
1. You’ve started reading or watching things you don’t really care about.
So you know those days when you’d lose hours in front of the TV, complaining that there’s nothing to watch and then you end up settling on a home shopping network? Well, you’ve found a new medium. You’re reading a recipe on how to make chocolate soufflé when you have no intention of buying an oven. You’re watching a how-to tutorial on toothpaste. Worse still, you’ve started hate-browsing things you dislike just so you can hate-comment and show the world how much you hate certain things.
2. Your inbox has more than a thousand unread emails from various websites.
FREE journal articles? YES! Do I want to know more about online marketing? Sure, that could come in handy someday. Yeah, let’s sign up for online foreign language courses and modules. Before you know it, you’re swamped with all of these emails from all of the sites you’ve visited, and you haven’t looked at them once. Maybe it’s time to stop subscribing to stuff.
3. You promised yourself you’d sleep early today, and you broke it because someone posted something funny on Facebook or any other networking site you use.
Sleep is for the weak. You must see all of the new posts on Tumblr or reply to your friends’ tweets or instagram that flickering light outside your window and tell everyone who cares that it’s spooky. In the end, you’ve killed three hours and your circadian rhythm.
4. You can’t remember how you got to this website (without looking at your browser history).
A couple of minutes ago, you were on Facebook, scrolling through someone’s ten thousand selfies, and suddenly you’re checking out gigantic rubber ducks on Amazon, and you don’t know how you got there. On that note, how in the world did you even discover Thought Catalog.
5. You know all of the internet memes.
Given the scope of the internet, it’s probably impossible to keep up with all of the memes netizens have conceived, but nope, from rickrolling to philosoraptor to grumpy cat, you know (and maybe participated) in them all.
6. You’ve considered a career online.
Lots of people have great careers online, and you’ve considered it yourself. The problem is not working online though; it’s your motivation for working online. You can’t really stand it when work blocks sites like Gmail or Youtube, and it’s made you desperate enough to sneak online on your smartphone. Eventually, you get to the conclusion that this would be so much easier if you were self-employed, particularly if you worked online.
7. You look for wifi spots when you’re outside.
The point of going outside is to interact with people in real life and disconnect for a while, right? Er, right? Well, probably not for you because right after you order a muffin, I’m sure the next thing you ask is, “What’s the wifi password?”
8. The thought of living without the internet for a week makes you cringe.
Say your family wants to invite you to go camping and enjoy the great outdoors for a week – no wifi. You try to be polite about it, but on the inside you are raging and screaming and cradling your router, saying “My precioussss…” You have come to the point where people can only get you offline if they pry the laptop off of your cold, dead fingers.