Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Cyber-Suck

I’m just going to check one little thing. Real quick. Just pop over to the website, see if so-and-so posted that article she promised, then it’s straight to work.

Yeah, right.

Next thing I know, DG comes in to tell me he’s tired of waiting on me and is going to bed. Ack. Two hours gone and what do I have to show for it? A tired wrist from mouse usage and knowledge I didn’t need on the conspiracy theories regarding the judging on So You Think You Can Dance. How in dog’s name did I end up there?

Don’t I know that the internet is nothing but a giant time-suck for me? One click leads to another, and to another, and soon enough I’m lost in cyberspace.

I’m either going to have to develop willpower (yeah, right) or else DG will have to disconnect my internet access before he leaves for work in the morning. My email addiction is bad enough—now I’m haunting sites for no good reason. I can’t even claim it’s “research.”

A few dangerous sites for me:

Etiquette Hell—Where the terminally tacky and unbelievably rude burn forever. The site owner just updated with new stories. With 34 categories and 10+ new stories per category… well, you can imagine the time I can waste there. And should I mention there are archives going back to the late 90s? It’s like a train wreck—you can’t help reading on. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s a forum going 24/7 to rant about the tackiness in life between updates on the main site.

Fark.com—Not quite a news site, but you’ll certainly get the news you might miss otherwise. Dedicated readers submit links to the interesting and unusual happenings in the world. Clicking though the links is time-killing enough—don’t wander into the comments section or you’ll never get out.

Statcounter.com—Yes, that nifty little button PM added to the sidebar is a time-suck for me. I can obsess endlessly over where our blog visitors are coming from, what terms they put into Google that led them to us, how long they stayed on the site…

Snopes.com—This is the site where you come when you need to know if that story about the guy who had his kidneys stolen in New Orleans is true or not. No urban legend is safe here. I can usually limit myself to the “What’s New” page, because I’ve spent so much time on this site over the years, I think I’ve worked my way though most of the archives already.

Oh, and of course there’s the daily visits that have to be made. Blogs I have to visit (and comment, and then check back to see if anyone has commented on my comment). The site where I can check my horoscope, my numerology report, my Chinese sign forecast, and my tarot reading of the day. My obsessive visits to our blog can’t be ignored either.

I’ve set myself some serious goals that have to be met once AC starts back to school. Limiting my time on-line will be one of them (and will have to be done if I'm going to make any of the other goals.). I can’t go cold turkey, but I’m going to have to cut waaaaaay back. You’ll know if it’s working cause I’ll be the one over in the corner twitching slightly from the withdrawal.

So what sites are major time sucks for you? Which ones just seem to draw you in for hours without you realizing it. Please DON'T give me the URL—I don’t need to be spending more time on the internet—just describe what kind of site it is and why it sucks you in.

I’ll give away a copy of Joanne Rock’s Hidden Obsession to one commenter—let you kill some time the old fashioned way!


Barbara Vey said...

Ok, you just have me on this site and then you don't even mention that you spend time at my blog. I am highly insulted. (just kidding)

I spend time on the Biggest Loser site and Weight Watchers. I love reading all the success stories. And when the Amazing Race is on, I go there a lot. I also daily check out Marjorie M. Liu's journal. She writes the most amazing stuff.

Now I'm really getting off this computer and going to bed. :)

Problem Child said...

Barbara, I just assumed everyone would already *know* your blog was a must go :-)

Pat L. said...

All the author/book and blog sites that I frequent as well as my email.

I am lost if my computer is down. I must say connected. LOL and know I am NOT alone.

Pat L.

Instigator said...

Blogs - I can lose hours from my life.

And MSN Zone. It's the microsoft game site. I find it difficult to write at work (something I'm going to have to fix when the girls go back to school next week) but I often find myself with nothing to do in the afternoons. Catan (a strategy game like Risk) and anything to do with serving food/drink to a demanding customer in a specific amount of time....Ugh! It's like eating the entire bag of Lindor truffles. I know I shouldn't be doing it and I end up with a terrible stomach ache afterwards. But at the time I just can't stop myself.

And as far as I'm concerned, the sites you listed, PC, are perfectly acceptable for research! You never know when that unusual news story or that person with deplorable manners will spark a story idea.


Smarty Pants said...

You are writing a story about manners. Or supposed to be.

I get lost on E! online. They have all these articles and pictures about trashy celebs and I just get lost in there. Then there's the message boards where people try to guess the blind items posted. Major time suck.

Work blocks youtube and other video streaming sites, any game sites, etc. so I can't go to those. When I was on WW, I spent a lot of time building recipes I'd never make and entering in food, looking up food, obsessing about food, talking about food on the message boards...

Angel said...

Blogs. Most definitely blogs. I've been told to visit and comment on them for later name-spreading purposes. Well, this would be fine if I wasn't interested in reading the articles and comments. That's where the time really goes. Then I have to formulate a coherent answer.

So I've been limiting myself to certain faves, then allowing myself to actually read one each day. If I get all my work done, I can check in at another. I try to obsess somewhere different each day. :)


Playground Monitor said...

Hyperlinks are the bane of my existance. Oooooh... let's see where this link goes!

Actually I've spent this morning online trying to re-arrange my travel plans for this weekend and find a motel near my son. I should start renting out my spare bedroom. I can't believe motel rates. Of course, he lives in the Great Smokies so...

Aside from author blogs, I visit a website dedicated to the old TV show "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." I used to write fanfiction there -- it's how I got started back to writing. And there are actually two published authors who also used to write fanfiction there.

Back to my motel hunt. Ugh.


MaryKate said...

For me, I have a pattern in the morning when I get to work. Login, check both personal emails (one is definitely NOT enough!), check my blog, check Romance by the Blog, the check all of my bloglist (including you guys). Then, People.com, Washington Post (especially during football season), USA Today's Life page, then CNN, you know, for some actual news.

I find TMZ to be fascinating. I already have a sick fascination with celebrity gossip, and TMZ reports on everything. Plus, while I'm sure we all hate the paparazzi, I LOVE the star pictures. It's the main reason I go to these sites. I'm pathetic.

Then I have to check in at my sports sites: CNNSI, ESPN, NFL.com, FOX Sports.

By then at least half an hour has passed (if I didn't really find anything I need to read), and I'm ready to work. Until, you know, an hour or two has passed and I have to check again.

CrystalG said...

Author blogs, Weight Watchers and weight loss boards.

Rhonda said...

Argh! Blogger ate my first post.

Ahem. Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Time-sucker sites. People.com, TMZ.com, PerezHilton.com, etc... (I tell myself that this is pop culture and therefore relevant. Please, someone agree with me.)

Then there are the blogs. You know who you are. And speaking of blogs--:-)--soapboxqueens.com launches tomorrow. Jen LaBrecque and Vicki Lewis Thompson and I would appreciate it if you all would aim a click our way. :-)

Angel said...

Yay! Another blog for me to hit. But after getting to know Rhonda and Jen as well, this blog should be FABULOUS!


Kathy said...

soapboxqueens.com! I'm headed there.

Well, I spend time on historical sites but I usually lurk. Love to read some of the stuff they come up with! historyhoydens.blogspot.com
riskyregencies.blogspot.com and many others, including author websites where important research information can be found and utilized. Yes, I've been there.

But the thing that gets me the most is trying to catch up on e-mail and getting the instant message. Then I spend time talking online and not getting anything done. LOL.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Author's blogs are my internet obsession. One leads to another and another and another great author!!! I'm in nightmare heaven and don't see myself quitting any time soon.

There's too much talent out there!!!


Maureen said...

Romance Novel TV is one where I can spend too much time. You get to see authors being interviewed and then talk on a message board.

Playground Monitor said...

I'd never heard of RomanceNovel.tv until I was in Dallas. Now I visit often. Our own Instigator got a moment of air time in the hallway on her way to the Rita awards. The others may be there too and I'm just not seeing them.


tetewa said...

I have many author blogs and and sites set on my favorite page that I try to visit daily. This usually takes me a good 2 to 3 hours daily.

robynl said...

blogs of many authors, e-mail, hotmail, our city's online site(funeral announcements and adds for sale items and wanted items, playing games on Real Arcade.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Email, blogs, and author sites. And Publisher's Marketplace. And now these soapboxqueens! ARGH!

But, yay moment for me, I'm late writing this comment because I closed ALL the Internet windows and only looked at my WIP. Made me work for a while, and that's good. Must do more often. In fact, I was talking about writing more often and where different writers choose to work on my blog today. Do you get distracted at home? At Starbucks? I always want to know how people work. Makes me think my own nutty way of doing things isn't so weird after all. :)

catslady said...

I too do the blogs, groups, emails, sites, etc., but my real time consuming mind numbing obsessions are games lol. If it's a puzzle type, I have to keep playing until I win and then there are the kinds that each game is "new" so it's always "just one more" and then there are the ones that you play against other people, and then there are the ones that you have to get high score, and then there are...etc. etc. etc.

Stacy S said...

Mine are author sites & blogs. Also check out TMZ & People. Will have to check out soapboxqueens tomorrow. Another one is GoddessBlogs. They crack me up over there.

Nini said...

This is pretty much my only blog, well, except now for Barbara Vey's site. I mostly visit a freebie site (i love all the stuff i get for free), and some author boards.

I'm brand new to blogging...i had to ask PM how to use this one.


Barbara Vey said...

Nini, I love you. Thanks for visiting my blog. My son says I'm obsessive about the blog. Probably. lol

Well, back to my books...lots to read, so little time.

LadyVampire said...

I feel I have to check out everything every other day when I long in so I dont miss something which really sucks me into that twilight zone where time seems to speed up and when it seems like you've only been online for an hour, its been about 5 hours.
Blogs are a big draw for me when I am online. I visit atleast ten blogs everytime I log in. Then there is my email. I tend to write long letters so I end up staying in my inboxes for long amounts of time. It also gets time consuming when you have over three email accounts. Which brings to my third obsession online...contests. I admit I sign up for so many contests online. I visit over 20 sites full of contests and they usually undate everyday. Its hard to keep up with that.
After that, I also visit friends sites, groups I belong to, Ebay and occasionally when I have time (Haha) ..I might try to do a game or two online. I like some of the Tetris like games and can get lost in those.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Thank you for the win, Problem Child!!! I know I'll love reading Joanne Rock’s HIDDEN OBSESSION!!!

Hugs, JJ/Nature Nut