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“The Net Is a Waste of Time” by William Gibson

Some people claim that the internet is a complete waste of time. Nevertheless, internet users have many experiences on the Web that can be life fulfilling. For example, people work, date, connect, argue, mourn, inform, study, entertain themselves, and so on. In his essay, William Gibson, who criticises the internet, is incorrect on several counts. Clearly, the internet provides a vast amount of data that can hardly be processed and can be used improperly, but it also enables people to work, communicate and create irrespective of time and spaces.

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Gibson emphasises that the World Wide Web does not have any benefits for people, but only wastes their time. An example of the disadvantages of the internet is the electronic mail as he claims that it is “a source of discomfort” as it is difficult to answer all of the coming emails and it is unpleasant to understand that there are dozens of unanswered letters. Ironically, he admits that he surfs the internet, but he also adds that he does not see anything relevant. This claim is quite surprising. Gibson goes ahead to say that unlike the earlier television technology, the internet is still growing. However, it is rather prudent to loathe something because it is undergoing evolution. In fact, the internet has already developed fully, the few advances still being made are just meant to improve the user’s experience (DaCosta 9).

The Web has got lots of information that is useful for everyone on the planet. People use the internet for different purposes. There are those who use it to search for information about illnesses, others use it for transacting business, pay bills, procure goods and services, and so on. Of course, there is a vast amount of information, and some compare this source of information with a fire hose while other people claim that it is still possible to satisfy their thirst through seeking “the outermost periphery of the water blast and aim to catch some spray” (Heffernan 55).

Communication is another sphere where the internet provides various opportunities for people. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, among others, have made connecting with one another easy and pleasant. Social media sites play an important role in making sure that people are connected. Through them, people can communicate on a real-time basis with others thousands of miles away (DaCosta 125).

The internet has greatly revolutionised the labour market in ways never known before. People can now work on assignments from the comfort of their houses (DaCosta 125). The Web has created part-time jobs for even stay-at-home mothers. Most companies outsource work to millions of remote workers. This benefits both the company and the employees. The traditional work environments have significantly changed.

Some people still say that the internet is as addictive as hard drugs. Some say that the youth use the web for playing games rather than studying. Some adults have been said to be addicted to adult sites and gambling. However, people tend to find ways to use the most useful tools in very harmful ways and put the blame on others (Goldsmith 27). Individuals with questionable parenting skills have lumped all the blame on the internet. Some adults do not have the strong willpower to exercise moderation while surfing (Goldsmith 27).

Gibson uses quite a narrow thinking when he claims that surfing the internet is a procrastinator’s dream. He even displays his ignorance (or is it arrogance?) when he asserts that “people who see you doing it (surfing) might imagine you’re working” (Gibson). What a simplistic conclusion! It is a fact that people work online and that the internet is not the future big thing but the present one. Of course, this technological is associated advance with some threats, but they are quite irrelevant compared to the benefits and opportunities.

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Works Cited

DaCosta, Francis. Rethinking the Internet of Things: A scalable Approach to Connecting Everything. Apress, 2013.

Gibson, William. “The Net Is a Waste of Time.” The New York Times, 1996. Web.

Goldsmith, Kenneth. Wasting Time on the Internet. Harper Perennial, 2016.

Heffernan, Virginia. Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art. Simon and Schuster, 2016.

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