What Do You Do Online?

Apr 16, 2013   //   by Sean Valant   //   SEO Blog  //  16 Comments

The mighty Internet.  It has unquestionably changed life on this planet.  I would wager that there has been no other single innovation that has impacted present generations as much as the simple idea of allowing computers to communicate with each other across the globe.  Also, it allows myself and countless others to support ourselves and our families.  All because computers can talk to other computers.Woman_using_computer

Anyone over 25-ish years old likely remembers pre-Internet life.  Google was spelled “googol” and existed merely as a humble noun, not the mis-spelled noun/verb combo that we all know and love today.  If you wanted to acquire new knowledge or information and lacked someone whom you could outright ask, your options were to either to crack open an encyclopedia or visit the library.  Of course a visit to the library in those days involved a long walk in the snow that was oddly uphill both to and from the library.  Barefoot.  Shoes weren’t invented yet, either.  Times were very odd in the pre-Internet days, kiddos!

Though I’d certainly give a shout-out to anyone who remembers playing Legend of the Red Dragon on a 2400 baud modem connected to a local area BBS back in the day, this post is actually not about the old days of the Internet.  Rather, I’d like to discuss what people use the Internet for in the present day.  We are speaking of a tool of immeasurable value.  The Internet is phenomenal beyond words.  As per my understanding, the Internet is made purely of magic and is responsible for not only the creation of gravity, but also magnets.

As human beings, one race sharing this planet, what do we choose to do with this most amazing technology?  Mostly Facebook, apparently.  Google, YouTube and Wikipedia are also high on the list of most-visited websites.  Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay all round out the upper crust.

As for the most popular online activities, email is in the lead with “use a search engine” as a close follower.  Get news, purchase a product and social networking round out the top 5.

Time is our most precious commodity.  A lot of us spend a lot of time online.  What are we receiving in exchange for this time?  World news?  Celebrity gossip?  Perceived social acceptance?  Products that we likely don’t actually need?  …Profit?  A level up in an online game?  Eye strain, maybe?  Epic collections of .mp3s or other media?

I love the Internet, likely you do as well.  As with all beloved things, treat it appropriately.  Consider your time, and how you spend it.  Be sure you get a proper return on your investment, so to speak.  Consider not only the quantity, but also the quality of the time you spend online.  It is certainly not my place to discourage Internet usage, again it is my livelihood, but remain aware of the larger picture and the great, big wide world that isn’t on the web.

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Sean Valant

Sean Valant is the Social Media Manager for HostGator.com.

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  • Internet is having everything,entertainment,knowledge,news a lot more things.You can spend all your life over internet but you could not finished……..It is so broad and expanding day by day

  • Dave Patrick

    Hi Sean

    It’s very easy to get waylaid on the net. Used to happen to me when I was trying to do research for an article.

    Those little devils, Hyperlinks would pop up and say “click me!” And off I’d go, reading stuff that had nothing to do with my research.

    But since I started treating the net as a real business I have been able to resist the demon links. I make a list of the questions I want answered and remember that time is potential money.



    PS all my domains are hosted by…guess who?:)

    PPS Please thank the gang from me for the terrific service you provide.

  • Jane

    Internet is a great place full of resources to learn and opportunities to explore. We have almost “everything” at our fingertips – thanks to the big fish like Google, Youtube, Wikipedia etc. We don’t ask people any more, if we have a question – we ask the almighty Google.

    But while we think its all a blessing, there’s a curse which comes for free with it. DISTRACTION. While we try our best to use the internet to succeed, it can easily dilute us from our goal by giving us too many options, too much information and what not!

    If we are in control, we can use this beast for good!

    • Sean Valant says:

      Agreed Jane, sometimes limitless possibilities can prevent anything from actually being accomplished, because we can stay far too busy doing absolutely nothing. 🙂

  • Chuks says:

    Internet could be a distraction with all the resources available, you want to do this and you want to do that only to realise that we only have very limited time at our disposal, by focusing more on our priorities we can achieve greater results, nice post

  • Imran says:

    According to my point of view, majority of people spend their time on the social media sites like facebook and twitter. Only few people are doing business over the web and using it in the positive way.

    • Sean Valant says:

      There is more and more time spent online each day, be it for social media or business purposes. Hopefully all of the above are spent in a positive way.

  • Its true that internet is the way to gather all the information round the world. Many users are using social media platform to connect to millions of users. Spending time online for gathering knowledge helps to be updated with the latest news but there also some disadvantages.

  • this is internet era and it changes life of all of us no body is untouched now if you are not using directly then also you are using indirectly like booking tickets,watching movies etc. This increases area of our knowledge also it takes place of your favorable adviser or mentor.

    thanks to internet

    • Sean Valant says:

      There is also a danger in the Internet taking the place of a trusted mentor or advisor, as anyone can say anything on the Internet…. for better or for worse.

  • Matt says:

    Hey Sean !
    This is an interesting topic. I agree with you that there is more and more time spent each day. It can be for socialization, business and can also be for study purpose. Lots of student are getting knowledge online either through online institutions or through online books. These is lot of information on internet which facilitates the students and a normal person who want to know something.

    • Sean Valant says:

      Agreed Matt, it is an incomparable learning tool.. provided you don’t always believe everything you read, and verify any questionable or delicate information before passing it on as fact.

  • Matt says:

    Isn’t this the truth though. I remember as a kid about age 8, using the term “googol” because the thought of that many trailing zeros gave my nerdy brain a rush.

    Now a kid by age 8 has probably performed a googol google searches, but since there is SUCH a wealth (…and strangely, poverty) of information at their neo-nerdy fingertips, “googol” is almost a “least” common denominator for the pace of info they track, and let slide.

    I’ve got really ambivalent feelings about the internet right now, as you might be able to sense!

  • Kalpit says:

    Totally agree with you!

    Excess of anything is deadlier than cocaine.

    Sure internet is endless, it has amazing capabilities, and you can learn so much from it. But think again, this time exclude internet while thinking. Try out new things, without internet. Go out someday, without internet. You’ll know the difference.