blogathon: internet, the great procrastination enabler drug

a post my husband wrote for this blog a few weeks ago. kind of ironic, to be using it for the blogathon, wouldn’t you say?

my wife and i are not TV watchers. for me, other than NFL football season and once a month late-night-in-bed-just-before-going-to-sleep scanning of showcase/learning channel/PBS i don’t willingly watch any television.

okay, that’s not quite true. our daughter is a television watcher, and in order to be at least in the next room both my wife and i are often on our respective laptops in the dining room, which is next to the living room where our daughter watches TV. the result is that we hear a lot of TV willingly in order to be close by, but we rarely look at the screen.

anyway, the point is that neither my wife nor i spend much time in front of the TV. we also don’t rent movies very often, and even less often go to the movie theatres. we also don’t go to a lot of concerts, go out for dinners or go shopping or do other things that would fill an evening, but we do have some things that take up a few evenings/afternoons on a regular basis. for me it’s music (i belong to a jazz trio and sub in a number of other bands) and being involved with the vancouver fringe festival.

so without watching TV and only having to be out once or twice a week for various things i should have a lot of time available to do, well, to do a lot of stuff. i could be in great physical condition because i have time to exercise. i could have great improv chops because i have time to practice all my various instruments. and of course basic things like our lawn could look decent because i mow and trim it on a weekly basis. and my life could be relatively organized; i could remember to buy and mail birthday presents in time, get the oil changed in the car, fix the sticking bathroom door.

instead it’s taken me pretty much a full year to finally get around to buying a new suit, to replace the one i bought over 15 years ago. it’s now june, and i still haven’t done our taxes, in spite of the fact that i am by profession an accountant. we need to get a new car, but i can foresee huge amounts of mental strain and anguish required before this will actually happen [well, at least we got THAT done now; hubby wrote this a few weeks ago. now i have to get on to getting used to driving a standard again, something ELSE that i can procrastinate on]. only the inconvenience of regularly having to loan the car to my stepdaughter is going to be a useful “driving” force to make this purchase happen within the next few months rather than 3 years from now when the car actually dies.

my wife and i have talked about procrastination and disorganization. partnerships have areas where the involved parties have complementary strengths and weaknesses and common interests and values. unfortunately procrastination is a weakness of both of ours, and our organizational skills are not great and the styles/approaches we use are not always complementary.

and, we’re both internet junkies.

okay, blah blah blah. internet is so much more challenging, interactive than television. it costs less than going out to eat all the time, or shopping or going to movies on a regular basis. you can learn, research, create on the internet. blah, blah, blah.

it still sucks life out of you. it uses time, and time = life.

sure, i now know things that i wouldn’t know if i’d spent my time watching TV instead of being on the internet. i’ve accomplished some things where i’d have accomplished almost nothing if i’d spent the time watching TV.

but i still haven’t done our taxes. or mowed the lawn for two weeks.

for me there’s always email to read or write, topics to research, games to play, forums to catch up on, things to download. the thing that makes internet time more insidious than television is the perceived value of the time spent. people willingly acknowledge that too much television is a waste of time, but there isn’t yet enough belief, or at least supported belief in the circles that i’m in, that too much internet is a waste of life as well. i can successfully hide behind the wall of “doing something” when i’m on the internet in a way that i can’t when i’m watching TV. i don’t feel guilty or slovenly if i spend a lot of time on the internet the way that too much TV has done in years gone by.

you know how this post has to end, right?

canadian mental health association

this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!

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