Hello, and welcome to one of the countless places online that your internet connection pulls ones and zeroes from. I'm here today to talk about that scourge of the information age, the World Wide Web.
When was the last time you felt good about yourself after spending time online? What did you do?
Last time I felt good about the web, I dropped a hundred bucks on various charities (Kiva, EFF, Public Citizen, and the Ubuntu Education Fund). Yikes, that certainly won't happen too often. But despite my ego, this post isn't to pat myself on the back, nor to demonstrate my financial short-sightedness.
For many cubicle-folk, the web is a good way to fritter away downtime between tasks. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, I'd say it's a pretty healthy transition between projects. At work, you might check the news, weather or sports, watch a stupid video, read an e-card, write an email, check Anton's blog, find out what friends are doing via myspace or facebook, etc.
But is that all there is?
Anyway, I'd like to pose a mental exercise to y'all, and I'd really appreciate your feedback in the comments. It seems only my snarkiest posts draw comments and disapproving emails from my mother (sorry mom! I'll call you soon!), but I'd like you to make an exception. The fate of America may be at stake.
Let's say you work a desk job, but minus the job part. You must be there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You have ZERO tasks to accomplish during the day. You have a computer with basic tools (browser, email, but no special software like GarageBand or even Photoshop). There are no filters on the internet. You just have to be there, dressed in business casual, and "blend in" - so no artistic projects or blatant trashy-novel-reading that might get you a "chat" with HR.
What do you do?
Read? What sites? Write? Code? Online freelance gigs? Study online in hopes of bettering yourself and landing a real job? Start a business? Learn a language? Play the stock market? Chat with babes online? How long do you think you could do these before you'd be burned out?
Not to influence answers, but part of my theory is that while computers are very powerful, the way we use them on a day-to-day basis severely limits our notions of what they can be used for. I'm interested in your input because I feel like I've had a "head-start" in the age of online communications (thanks for the modem, mom!), and I was very interested in this at a fairly young age. I just want to know what you'd do. There are no right or wrong answers, this is purely for my own research. Please put your pencil down when finished, no peeking at your neighbors' answers. Thanks!