The Internet: Friend or Foe?

No question about it. The internet is a tremendous resource, especially for students looking forward to starting great careers. Not only is the web a great reference tool for your studies, it is the fastest and most convenient source for the latest company information, job postings and other information you need in the job search. You can easily do research on half a dozen potential employers in one evening, without ever leaving your room – something totally unimaginable just a few years ago.

But like most high tech tools that promise to make our lives easier, the Internet can also steal our most valuable resource, time. Thanks to the miracle of high speed internet, you can waste an entire evening – in truth an entire lifetime – wandering through the endless on-line games, social media outlets, alternative music groups and other diversions the net has to offer.

 

Sure it’s appealing to explore offbeat web sites, download music, watch video clips or reconnect with old friends on facebook. It’s fun. It provides a nice break from studying. It’s not expensive. It’s easy. But, and this is one of those proverbial big buts, without even realizing it, you can easily burn hundreds of hours on the net, and have little to show for it but carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Social media outlets, in particular, are incredible time eaters. If you’re a fan of sites such as facebook and twitter, you may want to run a quick audit on yourself. How many hours a week do you spend on these sites? How much time have you spent chatting with friends via the facebook chat function or retweeting pictures of cute puppies on twitter? Just keep track of your social media time for a couple of weeks and then ask yourself what you have to show for it. It may be a bit of an eye-opener.

 

It’s just a matter of focus. Let yourself wander the web now and then. But don’t let wandering turn into squandering. Take advantage of what the web has to offer, but make it your high-value friend, not your time-wasting foe.

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