The 5 hardest things about working on the Internet

If your day job requires constant access to the Internet, you’ll be well acquainted with the dangers and distractions of working online.

The sheer amount of interesting content available on the web makes it impossible to get any work done – I am surprised businesses with Internet connections even have productive staff.

If you spend time online while working, you have definitely fallen into one of these Internet traps.


The Wikipedia Spiral

Wikipedia is a useful resource for learning, but its links to more information can trap even the most disciplined of researchers.

After only a few clicks, you go from “What is a pro forma invoice” to “What is the top speed of the Apache attack helicopter”.

Rocket design, philosophical thought experiments, or the history of glass windows – it’s all there.

This information is extremely interesting, but can detract from the day’s tasks. Now, go read up on the Fermi Paradox.

Wikipedia logo


YouTube Binge

YouTube is great, but is a deadly distraction – especially if you are logged into your account.

YouTube automatically plays the next video in its automated playlist when one is finished and presents you with a selection of interesting videos similar to the one you were just watching.

After clicking through enough times, you’ll find you’ve spent the better part of an hour watching funny cat compilation videos and have forgotten what you wanted to watch in the first place.

YouTube Logo


9GAG Scrolling

Everyone heads over to websites like 9GAG for a “bit of a break”, but we almost always stay longer than intended.

The massive collection of memes and funny posts entices you to continue scrolling – and that sidebar on the right is more tempting than a Wacky Wednesday on cheat day.

While it’s not the most engaging way to spend time, its content makes 9GAG one of the most potent distractions on the Internet.

9GAG Logo


Reddit Browsing

Reddit is a useful site for keeping up with news, hobbies, interests, and everything in-between.

However, its specialised subreddits make it a solid distraction for avid procrastinators.

Getting lost in a newly-discovered subreddit can eat up large portions of your day, and logging into your Reddit account during work is almost always a big mistake.

Reddit Alien


The Facebook and Instagram Photo Marathon

Whether you are looking at photos of your ex on holiday with their new partner, checking out the latest bikini pictures from Kylie Jenner’s feed, or staring in disbelief at how many abdominal muscles CrossFit athletes have, Facebook and Instagram binges can consume hours.

What’s worse, you almost certainly have the mobile apps installed too – meaning you take your binge sessions to the bathroom.

Instagram on phone


Now read: DStv and Netflix are killing online piracy in South Africa

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The 5 hardest things about working on the Internet