Wasting Time on the Internet

by syaffolee

One would think that with all these months trapped at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would have had plenty of time to catch up on my reading, but strangely (or perhaps not strangely) enough, that wasn’t the case. I’m as busy as ever, but maybe that’s not surprising considering my field of work.

Recently I managed to finish one of those books in my gigantic to-be-read pile: Wasting Time on the Internet by Kenneth Goldsmith. This particular blog post isn’t going to be critiquing this particular book–although I will say that Goldsmith’s thesis, that the internet has changed how we live and think and spend our time, is an interesting one. Certainly, many things happening in the world now (for better or worse) wouldn’t have been possible without the internet.

This has mostly made me think of what I usually do to “waste time” on the internet. There are so many things. But perhaps I can narrow this down to just stuff I watch on YouTube and maybe I can provide kind of a hodge-podge list of what I do watch.

Cats: These are probably the most time wasting sort of videos I watch. Although–they can also be informative. I also have a cat, after all.

 

Kpop reactions: It’s not so much the kpop videos themselves that I find interesting, but the whole ecosystem of react channels that have sprung up around it. The more watchable ones, obviously, are the ones with actual commentary instead of incoherent fangirling/fanboying.

 

Book and writing commentary: Food for thought, basically. You might disagree with their picks, but it’ll get you thinking about your own literary tastes.

 

People eating weird stuff: Totally mindless but at the same time, completely entertaining.

 

Music: This is just a small selection of the type of stuff I listen to.

 

Horror/RPG: I find the storytelling and the intersection of that with this particular genre very interesting. This scratches a different itch than the book/writing commentary channels above.

 

Science: I’m a scientist. Of course I like watching science videos on YouTube. This is just a small selection. I’m sure there are some other very interesting channels I’ve missed.

 

Linguistics: These are the channels I find more engaging. I’ve tried some other linguistics/language channels which also are very popular, but I find myself wanting to fall asleep in the middle of them.

 

Culture: Just some really cool and random stuff all around.