Spotlight On: the Internet – Make the Most of it, Students

By Fraser Bryce

Ah, the internet. The pinnacle of human advancement and innovation. We can now access anything we want at the time that suits us right from the palm of our hands. We spend, on average, every one in twelve minutes online. Now, assuming that my math’s is right, that means we spend on average two hours online every day. And do we use it for expanding our knowledge of the universe? No. We look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers. Just think of what you could have done in those two hours. Maybe you could have started working on that essay that’s due next week, but no, you’ve decided to vent your essay related troubles on Twitter. Well done, genius. Not that you’re alone, if I had a penny for every time I went on Netflix instead of doing something productive, I’d have about £3.28.

Sadly, if you actually draw up a list of the pros and cons of the internet, the bad outweighs the good. Sure, we can Google any topic we like and be presented with a wealth of valuable information, but, as I’m sure you know, the internet is full of idiots. Who’s to say what you’re reading was not written by a world class scholar, but some kid from Utah with a peanut for a brain?

And then there’s social media. We’ve all done it; we’ve decided to check Twitter for a second before we start revising, you click on one link and BAM! It’s two hours later and you’re taking a quiz to find out what kind of soap best represents your personality. I don’t blame you, Twitter is addictive. Currently, about 500 million people are on Twitter, and about 400 million tweets are sent every day. It’s a fascinating insight into the minds of mediocre dullards who feel the need to tell everyone the most boring details of their existence. I often wonder what these people did before Twitter, did they just shout what they had for lunch whilst on the bus and hope they weren’t admitted to a mental asylum? Anyway, I’m getting distracted. One of the most startling things I learnt about Twitter is that one in every twelve tweets contains a swear word. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a potty mouth to rival the best of them, but really, have we lost the ability to use decent vocabulary? Is the internet turning us from the most sophisticated species on the planet into whining, swearing morons? I’m not suggesting for one minute that we should censor the internet. We have the right of free speech and well done us for using it. I just wish we could be more creative about it.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the internet is amazing. I mean, I don’t think my life was complete until I saw Breaking Bad redone as a sitcom. Then there are sites that are so ridiculously entertaining it actually makes all the rubbish you have to put up with on Twitter and Facebook worthwhile. And while we’re on the subject of Facebook, it’s made our lives so much more easier to organise, so much easier to communicate with people that live halfway across the world.

Basically, what I’m getting at here is go on the internet and frolic in the digital fields to your heart’s content. But just, you know, don’t spend more time making an idiot of yourself on Vine than you do doing something worthwhile with the short time you have on Earth.} else {