Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Top Three Internet Time Wasters

Technology is such a gift, but it can also be the ultimate time suck.

Time Waster Number #1: 
The WHO ARE YOU Quizzes 

The newest rage on the Internet are the Who Are You quizzes. Based on zero science, you’re posed a question such as: Which Disney Princess Are You? You’re then lead through a series of frames with six or more picture selections:
            Frame One: Pick a dessert
            Frame Two: Pick a sport
            Frame Three: Pick a color

Following your selections, your true identity is revealed. VOILA! I’m Princess Jasmine. (I’m ok with that.)

The other day I took the the quiz Which Downton Abbey Character Are You? I came up Isabelle and snorted.  Isabelle's a nurse. You won't fine me within a mile of a sick person.

And then there was the Which President Are You? I came up Thomas Jefferson...slave holder, adulterer. Seriously? No thanks!  I guess he was a pretty good writer, though....

What draws millions of people to these ridiculous quizzes? Are they just pleasurable diversions to make us laugh or does it pose a more insidious societal question of dissatisfaction with our lives? For myself, it provides a 60 second delay in checking homework, doing laundry, cooking dinner, picking up dog poop in the yard… you know all the things I'm SUPPOSED to be doing.

Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Papa Pear……

I’m relatively new to the game app world. Last year my 8 year-old nephew introduced me to Angry Birds. I played it so much I started imagining sling-shotting my husband and daughters into wooden structures for not taking out the trash or picking up their underwear off the bathroom floor.  Then, as if I hadn’t wasted enough time and expensive cellular data (thank you Verizon for the daily nastygram), Facebook got me started on Candy Crush.

The addictive nature of Candy Crush defies all logic. All you have to do is match three colors (four or five would be even better). Sounds like something a preschooler would enjoy, right? I can't explain it, but once you start, you can't stop. And now, as if time on the home computer weren't enough, I rely on Candy Crush for wait-time in the car. And I do mean WAIT. School gets out at 3:30. My twins generally stroll out the door around 3:49. Pre Candy Crush, this would have enraged me. Now, thanks to this colorful time waster, I have the patience of the Dalai Lama. 



This is the King Daddy of all time wasters. I log on several times a day to find out where my friends are vacationing, whose anniversary it is, or what general minutia people are thinking about at any given moment of the day. Meanwhile, the wet laundry has been sitting in the washing machine for three days. I don't really need to explain Facebook to you. I know you're in the trenches with me.

I tracked for one week how much time I spent on my top three time wasters. Total: Two hours! That’s eight hours a month, 96 hours a year! To think what I could have written in that time….it makes one weep. I wonder where we’d be if JK Rowling played Angry Birds in that little café instead of crafting Harry Potter on napkins. Food for thought. 

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