Culture

The Internet is a wonderful thing; information at the click of a button, hours of entertainment, easy ways to connect with friends (old and new) around the world. The Internet, as it turns out, is also a terrible thing that can consume your entire day with mindless clicking around. As always, there are two sides to every story, and it’s important to hear both.

The pros of the Internet are pretty clear: with everything electronic, virtually any question can be answered with a few clicks on a keyboard. Also, with the Internet around, there is no way to be bored. Games, social networking sites, blogs, and many other sites are just as easily accessed as information, and often hold hours of engaging material for the casual browsers to dabble in. Sites such as YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other similar websites are excellent places to share and expand upon ideas – old and new – and with so many people only a computer screen away, it’s easy to carve out a little niche, and work on whatever inspirational thing is going on. Sharing ideas is easy and quick, and everyone with WiFi can have a voice.

The cons of the Internet come in when a person slips from casual browsing to full-on obsession. A few funny videos or a quick look at some pictures can easily devolve into hours of clicking on related topics, until suddenly you’re watching videos of some random cat, not exactly sure how you got there, but knowing it’s not at all related to what you originally intended to look at. Seemingly limitless content can also be a negative; while some of it can be insightful, it also has the potential to be offensive. Since wars of opinion on the Internet are not fought in person, some people forget that the person they’re talking to is just that; a person. It’s easy to forget yourself in the twists and turns of the Google searchbar, and once you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, it’s hard to get out.

The truth of the matter is, whether you like it or not, the Internet in all its glory is here to stay (and for me, that’s a positive thing). So be careful what you search, and use it to the fullest.

What do you like and dislike about the Internet?

Check out this article for inspiration on unplugging for a couple of days.

Image: Dennis Skley

Skills

Escaping negativity is hard.

I’ll be perfectly honest; when I first came up with the concept for this article (and it was probably about a month ago) I had big aspirations for how amazing and relatable it would be. People would laugh and cry reading it, it would be an article for the ages, lauded by all.

Needless to say, this is not that article. That article, which had potential (although probably not as much as I dreamed it would) was killed by my complete and utter lack of motivation, as well as persistent nagging from myself that whatever I did, the article wouldn’t be up to par anyway. The sad thing is, I really wanted to write a good article that people would appreciate. I want to live up to everybody’s expectations, and even go beyond that. I want my work to be acknowledged and appreciated. I’m only human, after all. Being human, however, entails other less positive things.

The negativity that keeps me from writing the inspired article isn’t unique to me. Most people go through phases where nothing seems to be good enough, no matter how much you give. The question then becomes, why bother trying? Once you’ve reached that particular question, with all the life-altering connotations it brings with, that’s when you really need to think about what you want and what makes you happy. In my experience, that’s what makes that negative cloud go away; by finding a little moment of happiness and stretching it, taking your safe zone and pushing its boundaries until you find purpose in even the things you don’t want to do.

This is the point in the year where a slump kicks in (at least for me). The jitters of the beginning of school have faded, and the mundanity of daily life has yet to be replaced by heart-stopping final jitters. Halloween has passed in all its sugar-spiked glory, and it’s really too early to be gearing up for Christmas. The important idea that will kick that negative voice to the curb for November is this – November is a time for thanks and family.

Wherever and whoever you are, there’s someone out there that cares, and that’s an amazing thing, a simple fact that can alleviate any foul mood. Dark clouds do come, and there’s really no way around it than to face it every day with a steely determination, a smirk worthy of Han Solo, and preferably a loved one. With the power of that trifecta, the negative voice in your head won’t dare to speak up.

How do you deal with your negative voice?

Image: Volkan Olmez