Wasting Time Online
Time is a precious resource which cannot be retrieved once past. Time management has always been a crucial aspect for success. So, let us think for a second. How much time we are spending on the Internet per day? Did we actually delay a task due to this time wasted? On an average, people spend around two hours minimum on the Internet and smartphone. Wasting time online is a common trend for youth and adults alike. Smart phones have become a baby sitting tool for toddlers, young adults are spending numerous hours on YouTube, and adults spend hours on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The time wasted is alarmingly high and is being a major roadblock to academic progress and workplace productivity.
Wasting time earlier was restricted to watching TV after school or office. People get back from work or school and spend hours together watching the never ending episodes. Wasting time online is a modern trend which applies to all generations. People start a task in front of the computer and easily get diverted to other topics on the Internet. You just start a task and your mind wanders about the new laptop you were planning to buy. You start browsing and scan other websites and deals. All the advertisers on the Internet target you based on your search and offer you all deals of laptops wherever you browse. You keep spending time on these websites and it is lunch time by the time you even realize. Your time is wasted in the mindless wandering. You just lost two hours of your productive time. Your focus and concentration must improve to avoid these distractions.
For young adults, wasting time online has become a real issue. They are unable to spend just an hour of time without getting distracted by all the social media buzz going on. The never ending thirst to know what is going on in the news, among friends, or the office gossip, is killing people's time. All the news feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snap chat, and so on are making youth more wasted. The hours that must be spent on practicing for the ACT or SAT tests are being wasted on the social media alone! Youth feel the need to stay connected all the time and the gamers are obsessed to know the gaming secrets. The gaming audience spend more time watching analysis of the games on YouTube instead of discovering it themselves by playing the game. The lazy trend to find the answers easily by browsing the web, has led to decreased inquisitiveness and creativity among the youth. Wasting time online is now similar to an addiction that we are unable to realize the consequences.
Internet and Smartphones
The Internet and smartphones are in part to responsible for the wasting time online trend. Earlier Internet was available only in certain cafes where you had to go and connect and browse. With time, Internet has become a widely available resource for everybody. In some parts of the world, it has not spread that much yet. The Internet is like water, power, and for some oxygen! :). Internet use and addiction is an immediate issue which must be addressed. Wasting time online, compulsive device use, and video game addiction can be cured by seeking hep from experts at reSTART. With Internet addiction and the time wasted, people are unable to enjoy simple activities such as hiking, cooking, reading, exercise, walking, connecting with nature, and so on.
And then came the smartphones! Internet on computers and laptops is one thing but with the mobile data plans and smartphones, people are wasting even more time on the Internet. You are at work and start your morning tasks. You look at your phone loaded with all the email accounts you have and the social media accounts you have. You start the cycle of checking your emails first, then go to the Facebook data feeds. You have to see the Twitter feed! Next, you see your Instagram and Snap chat. You have to post your new picture you took at the fair during the weekend. The never ending sharing and browsing on the smart phone is tiring to eyes and mind as well. Further, you might have multiple accounts in the same network for office and personal use. Now, by the time you realize, you have just wasted an hour of productive time as you browsed all your accounts in the morning!
Now think about the people who have to work on computers for life. People in the technology industry have to keep in touch with the upcoming trends and connect with other programmers. Technical workforce is even more distracted before they can even accomplish a simple task. Some corporations have banned Wireless connectivity and smartphones during office hours. Limiting the Internet only to the coffee breaks is a good idea to reduce wasting time. Another serious issue with wasting time on the Internet and smartphones is that online advertisers and affiliates trying to sell you products. You are been presented with numerous products and offers which you may or may not be interested that leads to further waste of time!
Affiliates and Ads
Affiliates such as Amazon, Ebay, Shareasale, and advertisers such as Google, Carbon, and others have been taking advantage of the people wasting time online. The affiliate marketing and ad netowrks have overtaken the online marketing. They can track users based on their location, age, gender, geo-location, and so on. The re-targeting code on the pages people visit will track online users. Further, the visitors and browsers accounts have been loaded with cookies and keywords by the re-targeting. As a result, people wasting time online are lured to buying stuff they actually don't need. For example, if you are searching for 'shoes' on a store website, that website drops cookies with the search terms keywords. Then, if you are visiting another sports website, you will be presented with ads for the same product you were searching earlier. The browsers are able to retain the cookies until the users clear their cache in the Internet settings every night.
People wasting time online do not actually realize how creepy the affiliates and ad networks can get. Every body has the power to advertise their product to the people wasting time on Internet. Google Adwords, Ebay, and other networks have opened a way for paid advertising. The paid advertising is beneficial for the advertiser, business, and the user because it is a medium to communicate about the business. However, the unnecessary retargeting and online marketing by the advertisers have led to more mindless shopping. Media partners such as Mediacom or Comcast are also making money out of the online marketing. They are planting cookies in the entire region of their service resulting in greater impressions and clicks. Most people wasting time on the Internet and smartphones are unaware of the online affiliate marketing and advertising and are falling prey for the system.
If you have installed ad blockers such as Adblock Plus, Privacy Badger, Ghostery, Disconnect, or 1Blocker, you are not safe either. The adblockers receive hefty money from advertisers to white list their ads. If you have subscribed to the ad blockers, they in turn sell your data and gain money out of it. Native advertising is a modern way of advertising where the ads appear based on the content on the website instead of a plain old banner ad. Native advertising by amazon or interest-based ads by Google are in turn luring people wasting time on the Internet as they are relevant to their interest and may ultimately lead to buy a product.
Online Time Management Tips
Wasting time online is an epidemic that people are not realizing. It is necessary to use technology for students and professionals to learn and work. Technology is inevitable and it is an undeniable fact that how people connect is changing every day. Further, the social media networks and marketing is crucial for businesses to get in touch with huge number of audience free of cost. Tweets are where the important information is being communicated. Politicians, Movie stars, CEO's of big organizations such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other businesses are relying on social media to release any official communication. It is indeed important to stay in touch in the current times. However, professionals, students, and general audience must exercise extreme caution lest they fall prey to the online advertisers and affiliate networks. Wasting time online is not an excuse for skipping work or being late for a meeting. Here are some time management tips for online audience.
- Close all unnecessary social media accounts. Keep it to one or two.
- Do not live feed your life to the social media. Only highlights is enough.
- It is okay to switch off your phone during the business hours.
- Switch off the laptop or smartphone when not in use.
- Write your task down to stay focused and stay on task.
- Put an alarm for the video games and track your time.
- Begin with a specific search idea in mind and just avoid casual browsing.
- Download a time tracking application that gives you the time and activities on each application you visit.
- Keep a time for browsing the social media and turn them off when not in use.
- On your browser settings, clear the cache from the beginning of the time.
- Dismiss all pop ups and random newsletter signups.
- Close all the open browsers and windows before shutting own the computer.
- Remember that nothing is free on the Internet. They just appear like that.
- Notice the ads on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and all other social media sites.
- Unfriend or Unfollow the people who you really don't know in person.
- Keep in mind that everything on the Internet may not be true.
- Seek help if you notice that you are becoming obsessive and compulsive about your online web surfing.