You reach for your smartphone and connect to the WiFi the moment you wake up. You treat the World Wide Web as the morning paper – this is basically where you get your daily news, weather updates, and traffic news. Aside from your daily dose of news, it’s also where you get the latest gossips about someone you know or the newest café shop to open this week. Yes, the internet can bring a lot of benefits and convenience to your life but have you asked if you’re spending too much time online?
Too much of anything in this world is terrible, as the song would suggest. If you have a gut feeling that you might be spending too much with your dear WiFi, you want to consider these points:
- Are you starting to read or watch contents on things that you don’t care?
There were those times when you complained that the TV did not have any good shows on. No matter how you switch from one channel to another, nothing is good enough to watch. But regardless of how you complained, you still end up watching the shopping network for hours. The internet could be your new medium for this habit. Because you’d rather spend your time online than doing nothing at all, you see yourself watching videos of recipes on how to bake cookies wherein fact you do not have an oven. Similarly, you search for contents about things that you dislike and hate-comment to show the world how much you hate certain things.
- Is your inbox full of unread e-mails?
Having five unread e-mails is okay, you must have received it while you were sleeping already. But having a thousand unread e-mails can be a red flag for your online addiction. From journal articles to online marketing courses to health-related updates, you subscribed to all of these. And the next thing you know it, your inbox is swamped with these alerts but you never even read a single one of them. You are fond of entering your e-mail address whenever there is a pop-up in the website you visit, without even understanding the offer given to you.
- Did you promise to sleep early today but failed?
This scenario is all too familiar. You promise yourself to sleep early tonight as you have an appointment the following morning but you end up looking at cat videos and funny memes. You just have to tag all of these to your friends and share these in your Facebook account. Because of this, you spent the last four hours looking at irrelevant videos online. You end up sleeping during the wee hours of the morning.
- Do you know too much about someone?
You often look into this person’s profile. You know that he scraped his knee back when he was five, and you also know that his pet dog died in an accident six years ago. What’s surprising is that you do not even know him personally. You just viewed his profile because he commented on an article you’ve read somewhere.
- Do you remember how you got to this website?
You were merely scrolling through someone’s selfies on Facebook and the next thing you know, you were browsing through Amazon’s on sale products. And you don’t even know how you got there. Your little stalking ended up into many webs of online searches.
- Do you look for WiFi spots when you’re outside?
Most of the time, you are sitting in front of your computer screen. You are rarely seen going outdoors, but whenever you do, your first question would probably be, “What’s the WiFi password?” Your favorite shops to hang out are coffee shops because it’s too silent which allows you to focus online. Yes, you might have friends going out with you, but once you get to connect to the WiFi, it immediately creates a barrier wall. Even if you are physically present, you isolate yourself from the world and continue scrolling through someone else’s Instagram.
- Does the thought of living without internet scare you?
You were invited by your relatives to go camping in the woods for the week. They told you that it would be fun and you get to explore the wild. Sure, you were excited about the idea, but when they mentioned that there was no Wi-Fi connection available nearby, you changed your mind immediately. You decided not to go and looked for the best alibi you can think of. You stayed home with your precious router instead and never regret any minute of it.
While the internet has brought about countless benefits for you, there are also some specific cons when you focus only on the internet. It is always a good idea to use the internet in moderation in making sure that you still have a social life outside.