Monday, August 9, 2010

That Thing Called The Internet

I'm going to the doctor for a check-up in about 20 minutes. Except I know pretty much what she's going to say. "You're pretty healthy, but you should probably exercise more even though you're thin because that's healthy for you and don't spend so much time on the computer/ TV/ video games."
That's what she tells me every time I go to see her.

So I was ranting about that last part this morning.

During the school year (excluding November), I very rarely go over 2 hours (the recommended maximum) during the week. If I do, it means I didn't watch something on TV the day before that I usually do, so I had to watch it on Hulu. So it evens out. (Apparently even-ing out is NOT OKAY.) Weekends are usually more.
November, well, every free moment I have is spent with my laptop.

But I don't think that should count. I'm not consuming media for fun (like watching TV or playing StarCraft, etc.) I'm creating media that I hope will one day make me money. Even if it's not something I plan on publishing, it's still helpful to my writing skills and it's still creating. My dad sits in front of a computer (or two) all day for work, and he's never told that that's bad for him (not the computer part, anyway. Apparently the sitting part is.) Despite the fact that I'm doing it willingly and not getting paid, it's still work (at least in my mind.)

Then there's other stuff I do online, like blogging. I'm interacting with all of you. I'm expanding my mental horizons by reading/watching on YouTube other people's thoughts, and sharing mine. This is mentally/intellectually stimulating and healthy. Yes, there are plenty of soul-consumingly-pointless YouTube videos out there, as well as those made only for laughs, but there's also well-thought-out interesting material.

So if I keep my screen-related non-reciprocal consumption down around where it's supposed to be, what's the problem?

The Internet has evolved from where it started, and some people (like my doctor and family) aren't as much aware of the fact as I'd like them to be. Unless I'm delusional and live in a strange sub-pocket of the greater thing. Which I doubt.


  1. I agree. My dad told me one night to "get to sleep, no computer tonight", and I tried to nonarguingly explain that writers HAVE to write EVERY DAY. He denied it (although how would he know? So far as I know, he's not a writer.) My mother told me that my sleeping health is more important than writing. It's not. I think they consider it "fun stuff" instead of "work". They might learn eventually, but I have to cope with it for now.

  2. I completely agree. I think a lot of adults have the idea that if a teenager or non-teen "young person" is doing something on the computer, it must be fun and games, and surely can't be "work". Hopefully that will change as the internet becomes a bigger part of everyone's everyday world.


Talk to me.