They have said that the internet is inseparable from our way of life these days. Were this truly the case, however, I never would have been able to conduct so many fruitful experiments in going without its usage, or, at least, in going without its abuse. Of course, it is the abuse of the internet which is so problematic, especially for the world’s young people, that is, the people who grew up during the most significant segment in the internet’s span of development. We, the young people, are the ones who have gained the most, and also, simultaneously, the ones who have lost the most from the wide issuance of easy access to the internet. What the older generations lack in competence with today’s tech advents, they make up for in freedom from them.
For years, I had made attempts at distancing myself from this most difficult-to-avoid thing we call the internet, but it wasn’t until recently that these bouts of foregoing hours on the web proved to be worth the effort. I’ve finally begun to see some desirable results come out of it.
Before I go on though, I should make it known to you, the reader, that I am by no means a rabid opponent of the internet in general. In fact, it isn’t even the internet as such that I have a problem with. It is certain websites and applications whose usage I have been interested in addressing, not simply the internet itself. Although, there are some things that are worth addressing in that department as well. Chiefly, my experiments have targeted my abuse of YouTube.
There is a reason why, when people think of the internet, images of the YouTube play screen will often be the first thing to come into their minds. It’s because that is the application that most people are using when they are using the internet, so much so that YouTube might be best conceived not as a mere website, but as an institution in and of itself, one that has been the very birthplace of thousands of culturally significant phenomena over the past decade or so. There is nothing quite like YouTube, certainly nothing that offers the same accessibility and range of entertainment. Not even other websites of a similar nature. In fact, YouTube is so good, it has actually seduced many of us into forgoing real-life engagement and participation in group activities in exchange for the safe, endless, and omni-directional entertainment that it offers us all. And that’s the problem.
Of course, that is a worst case scenario, and I will admit that most people probably know where to draw the line when it comes to their usage of this institution of sorts. I, however, was not one of those people. Without getting too personal, I’ve sort of had a bad habit of playing in the deep end, if you will, with regard to both the duration and the variety of my viewing on YouTube. So, when I say that changes do occur when you slow down your usage, and realize all the other things you could be doing with your life (and not just with your time), I really do speak from experience. And in Part 2 of this analysis, I will enumerate in detail those worthwhile and very interesting changes for you. See you there.
By Sha’Kim Bush
Thanks for reading!