Admit it. You love the Internet, but you hate what it does to you. Kind of like the other addictions we have in our lives -- Coffee, alcohol, Colombo reruns, etc. Unlike those things, the Internet has a way of sucking you in and keeping you hung upside down in its web as if Spiderman stopped you from robbing a bank. Here's why the Internet is ruining you:
1. You can work from anywhere:
Thanks to the Internet you can work from home, Krypton (assuming they've got good Wi-Fi) or anywhere else civilized people are -- which is apparently everywhere except the entrance to your local Best Buy on Black Friday. Telecommuting is great for people that travel a lot, but what about for those that don't travel at all? Is it really healthy to stay in your pajamas or shorts all day with little physical interaction with the outside world? Clearly this is different for everyone (introverts, extroverts, parents) and depends on your work (customer-facing, back-end support, etc). You can't deny that the Internet has definitely cut the amount of physical interaction we have with one another.
This isn't a good thing for most people. Being connected at all times means your work goes with you everywhere. Bathroom included. Compare how much time your eyes spend fixated on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV screen to how much time they spend fixated on your loved ones, friends and family. A sobering thought (unless you're a Jets fan... then nothing's sobering you up). This is more serious than our attempt at business humor indicates. Instead of texting or Skyping, try using this new gadget called your eyes. The quality is amazing. Way better than HD. This new wearable technology is actually something you are born with and is really going to change everything about how you see the world. If Google Glass wasn't dead already these optics you're born with would have killed it.
2. Contains the World's Knowledge... and Lack Thereof:
Do you remember being eight? Wow, what a whirlwind. Even while you were mastering double-digit addition you still knew that there was a machine called the 'calculator' that could answer every problem you were doing by hand. Now kids feel the same way, but about every subject. Smartphones put the world's knowledge in the palm of their hand! Every single thing/phenomena that has happened in the modern era has been mercilessly documented online. Even the stuff that probably doesn't need to be. Doesn't it tick you off that you can find out what shoes MacGyver wears just as quickly as you can find out when your flight lands? Great, now the readers of this article that didn't know who MacGyver was now know everything about him, can read the synopsis of every episode, and didn't have to waste 50+ hours of their life watching the show when it came out. Damn you, Internet!
Having pertinent information at our fingertips is valuable. Watching someone's 1992 home video of them beating Mario Bros. while Vanilla Ice whales in the background? Probably not on your bucket list (I'm not judging you if it is).
3. Gives a real-time view about how far behind we still are:
Yes, for every useless video, Tweet, article or website there is still further to fall. You guessed it. We're going down.... way down... to the comments section. Website comment sections say more about how far back we've gone vs. how much more we need to go. Just check out the comments section of Obama's 2008 Inauguration address. Did you ever notice how fast the haterade river flows when done anonymously and how slow it gets when commenters need a Facebook account? Yes, in case you're wondering, I do shed a tear for the good old days of ESPN.com circa 2009. You know, when the comments section on an article about Chris Paul's free-throw percentage inevitably turns into a debate about why Kobe sucks, to Kobe vs. Lebron, to why Yankees fans are fair-weather and of course ends up on race relations in America for the win.
4. We're all connected - for better or worse:
Facebook is a great way to get a superficial look into the day-to-day happenings of people you're acquainted with... .and even some of whom you actually know. This is great! It's far easier to keep in digital touch with people you like, but don't want to invest a few moments of your undivided attention to with a phone call (Oh no! The f-sounding word) or a coffee (an even bigger investment). Hey, it could be worse. On LinkedIn you get a superficial look into the daily activities of people you don't know.
5. Everyone's a marketer:
In the information age doesn't it seem like everyone is marketing something? The next wave of amazing Internet businesses will be ones that market to marketers. No degree? No experience? No worries! We have the perfect job for you... Internet marketer! Can you imagine how uncluttered the Internet would be without Internet marketers? It would be like the Gulf of Mexico before BP dumped their oil in it! (PS - here's what Internet marketers should be doing).
The Internet is basically a walking contradiction without the walking and a lot of the contradiction. Sure, it brings a lot to the table with awesome stuff like email, social media and video-conferencing, but if we have to put up with 10 hours of Darth Vader breathing or Indian Thriller, you really have to ask... is it really worth it?