September 24th, 2010 / 2:35 pm
Random & Snippets

How much time do you spend on the internet on an average day, and how much of that time is waste v. productive? (I took a sick-day today, thought I’d get a bunch of reading done. Instead, I wasted away in front of my laptop, just like any other day.)


  1. M Kitchell

      On weekdays I would say that I spend at least 8 hours a day on the internet, primarily because I sit on the internet my entire 8 hours work day, and then, without fail, I am online for at least an hour after work. Before I had a computer at my job I spent all day reading, which in some regards was far more productive, but on the other hand I can now program websites, write, read blogs, and play solitaire. On weekends I try to not be on even half as much unless I’m specifically working on a project.

  2. zusya

      the modern day white-collar work environment is spent online. and sometimes waste needs to be consumed to fuel productivity. hello to everyone reading this.

  3. mustacheking

      hmmm, i probably spend the first hour and a half of every day just reading, skimming, ‘starring for later.’ like my grampy and his paper. then i’m writing, working, with emails blinking in every minute or so and stealing me to another link for fifteen minutes out of every hour. any time i poop, i use google reader, so i suppose i’m on the internet then too. assuming i’m awake 16 hours a day, i’m probably actively interneting for 6.

      i’m going to go kill myself now

  4. lily hoang

      that’s the disturbing thing: when we calculate not just “active” internet time but also “passive” internet time, it adds up in a crazy surreal way. don’t go kill yourself. that would be bad.

  5. Mykle

      Sometimes I have to spend a lot of time in front of the machine, laying out text or editing or coding or “promoting myself.” (hi!) When i’m really busy, the amount of totally gratuitous, unrewarding, junk-food-feeling web browsing I do drops way down. But there are other times when the web really grips my attention in a bad way and I think, yes, this is what addiction feels like.

      It’s not too hard to snap out of it, but just to feel that grip is scary. Mostly it means that this large pile of ostensibly well-written literature in book form, right here beside me (/me waves arm grandiloquently), goes neglected while I spend my after-dinner hours reading the Times Skimmer, or MetaFilter, or GoodReads, or various forums, or whatever other piece of internet is my habit to read. And really it’s all about the habit, not so much about being interested.

      So I don’t think I have an average day, but still my answer is: probably too much.

  6. Richard

      Probably an hour total on Facebook, at my personal page, my Transubstantiate Group, and my Fan Page, checking out what other friends are doing, saying, things going on, accepting friends, etc. About 15 minutes on Twitter unless I fall down some rabbit hole into links. Another hour total at various forums like this one, The Velvet, The Cult, my Write Club group (not including writing time, just social). And then probably another hour of fun stuff – music, links people sent me, Goodreads, Fantasy Football crap, other personal blogs that got my attention. Doesn’t even include the days I post to my own blogs, my general one, and my specific one for Transubstantiate. If I have news to post up (reading, big acceptance, podcast up, story out, etc.) that could easily be another hour to hit all of the above with news. BUT…the bulk of this I do at work, while waiting for projects to hit my desk (I’m a freelance art director), so it’s really only Facebook at home (blocked at work) and returning e-mails, that kind of thing.

      Too much time, I guess, but that’s the way of the world these days, networking, PR, interacting online.

  7. jackie wang

      i actually use a program called self-control to limit my internet usage, ha. i usually block the entire internet for 2-5 hours at a time several times a day… hmm i don’t know. i don’t want to be on the net for more than a couple hours every day, but it’s hard… up until the summer, i worked 2 jobs, went to school full time, and was working on my thesis…i was hardly ever on the internet. now i have no job or school and my internet usage has increased dramatically. now i actual have an internet presence, which is weird… i used to go to a 24 hour ihop in my town of sarasota, fl to write because there was no internet. i recently had to lock my girlfriend’s computer in a box because she’s addicted to the net and has a project to complete for a grant deadline. sucks being an artist in the time of the internet, right?

  8. Justin

      woah. definitely googled “self-control internet usage limit program” before I realized what you meant. that’s too bad.

      then again, I did find some useful stuff for when my kids inevitably become addicted to the internet!

      and yes, it does suck being an artist, or someone who would like to be one someday. i’ve told myself html giant is actually a beneficial site…but…i’m…no, not really. i mean, sort of, but not really.

  9. deadgod

      Five, maybe ten minutes a day – tops.

      And it’s all solid-gold productivity, ain’t it?

  10. Guest

      goddamn smartphones. the marketing on these things is unbelievable.

  11. RyanPard

      The total number is inflated because I read my news online, and I consider that time more akin to the “sitting down with the morning paper” time-block than I do the “shitting around on the net” block.

      I used to track my time on the tubez, and maybe I should again. When I was depressed, distracted, and had way too much time on my hands I would track my internet usage and limit it to 60 minutes a day–you’d think it shouldn’t be so hard!!

  12. Tim Horvath

      I’ve used that program Freedom from time to time when I really need to slog through something and can’t afford the distractions. I have a theory that Franzen, who has talked about resisting the Internet while writing his latest, actually named it in homage to this program.

  13. jackie wang

      i have just emerged from blocking myself from the internet for around 4 hours. now i have a lengthy short story completed, haha. would i have done if i had access to infinite pools of information and distraction at my fingertips? probably not. try it out…..

  14. duane reade panini

      maybe 7-10 hours a day during the week… it’s hard to say whether it’s “productive” in my case, since i don’t produce anything, but it doesn’t all feel like waste either…

      as for reading books, most of that happens in transit or at coffee places. (i can’t read at home any more than at work.) i think i spend 1-2 hours a day reading, which for me translates to about 10 pages of prose or a handful of poems.

  15. Ethan