Wasting time on the internet and digital boredom
Dan Nosowitz for the New Yorker, in a piece to which I was nodding all along; beautifully written too, as you can tell from the first paragraph:
The other day, I found myself looking at a blinking cursor in a blank address bar in a new tab of my web browser. I was bored. I didn’t really feel like doing work, but I felt some distant compulsion to sit at my computer in a kind of work-simulacrum, so that at least at the end of the day I would feel gross and tired in the manner of someone who had worked. What I really wanted to do was waste some time.
I highly recommend you read the whole thing, especially if you’re looking to ‘waste time’, but so many great points made here, and such a pleasure to read.
Speaking of losing time when using the computer: Very often, after I’ve read the news from a website I like, I open a new tab and spontaneously start typing the first letters of the same website, for the browser to suggest the full URL. It happens every day, and sometimes I have to wait for the page to load to realise I was already reading the same website. As if I did not have an Instapaper list the size of a small novel to keep me busy already. Is there a name for it? If not I suggest hypernewtabophagia.
My thanks to Daniel Benneworth-Gray for including this link in the latest Meanwhile newsletter.