World Wide Boredom Buster

It’s a golden age for retirement in many ways, but especially with the internet. I’m not honestly sure I could have happily early retired before the advent of the World Wide Web. I’m not kidding. I seem to have a constant need to be plugged into some kind of information source 24/7 to keep my ADHD mind busy.

Even pre-internet I was a big fan of newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, almanacs, radio, TV, and the sort. Growing up, I loved going to the library or bookstore. I listened to ballgames or radio all night on a pillow speaker, and if I travelled on business, I’d leave the TV on all night.

No surprise, the internet has been a godsend for me. Who can be bored when all of the world’s knowledge is in the palm of your hand? As early as the mid-1990s, I was a fast adopter of AOL dial-up service. Even with those super-slow download speeds! I didn’t care. I loved to surf through all of the topics and interest groups.

To give you an idea of how internet-dependent I am, I noticed recently that I had 171 tabs open in Safari on my iPhone. I hadn’t ‘cleaned’ them out in a month – so that’s 5-6 new tabs a day – not counting the dozens that I did close.

Looking at the tabs is like a roadmap to what you’ve been thinking about over that time: hockey scores, a SpaceX rocket launch schedule, LEGO builds, Florida real estate listings, movie trailers, the history of St Augustine FL, a guide to vintage Christmas decorations, old Peanuts cartoons, Ford Mustang engine options, a Beach Boys documentary. and, of course, pages of COVID-19 information.

Looking at them all, you can see how easily I can easily spend an enjoyable hour or two sitting in my comfy chair with my big iPad in my lap. While I also spend plenty of time going places, waking/hiking/biking, playing sports, and exploring – surfing the internet on a rainy day in March isn’t boring at all. I never run out of things to go online and search for and learn about.

How internet-centric is your lifestyle? How different would it have been for you 25 years ago?

Image Credit: Pixabay

13 thoughts on “World Wide Boredom Buster

  1. A good test would be to see if you could go cold turkey (cut the cord to the Internet) for a day. My kids are both addicted to the internet and within seconds of the Internet going down at my house there is a full panic…. My wife and I both work from home these days so we too are pretty depending on being connected. However, we could spend a day without a phone or any other connectivity to the Internet without going into withdrawal. I don’t think my kids could.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting comment about being addicted to the internet. I see the exact same thing with our two sons who are in their 20s.

      During Thanksgiving this year, my power company cut the power for three days as a fire prevention precaution. Both of our sons started having withdrawals almost immediately and soon went out to ‘visit’ friends who still had internet service. My wife and I played Cribbage and read, and enjoyed the quiet. We cooked our turkey on the grill and the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner on a 30 year old Coleman Stove. The vibe was almost like glamping in a really big tent.

      Sometimes when our sons are walking around the house, it sounds like they are in video game arcade because of the random electronic noises coming out of their mobile devices.

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    2. Well, “addicted” is a bit strong and has a definite negative connotation to it. I would prefer the positive association of the word “affinity” for connection to the internet.

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  2. The internet helped me to plan and reach retirement. Today, coincidentally was a first Friday of the month which happens to be the day I review my investments and plan any changes for the upcoming month. The internet really helps with investment research and has driven the cost of brokerage trades down to nothing. It wasn’t that long ago when I had to go to the library and read and read to find an attractive investment trade and made the trades through a broker via telephone at a couple hundred dollars per trade. I believe the electronic method takes less time and leads me to better candidates.

    Several projects that I am currently working on utilize the internet. I am planning a home security system and since I live in a rural area am planning to make my detection point when people approach the house from the outside via IP cameras. The design goal is to be alerted when someone is driving down my driveway at 2:00 am. I have also taken up home brewing and visited YouTube posted videos to learn the process. My wife and I also have taken up target shooting at a gun club and research firearms and methods.

    But, there are limitations to what you can learn over the internet and here are some examples. My wife and I took a personal protection course t the gun club and one of the points driven across by the instructor (who is former LAPD) is you need to have a plan for what to do before someone kicks down your door for a home invasion. That is what got me thinking about camera based security because I live on a large property in a rural area. I found a local beer and wine supply shop and have found that they offer fresher ingredients and more interesting recipes, and best of all coaching on how to improve my process. They even have a club, where people meet to exchange recipes and tips, and a few beers of course.

    Yes the internet is good, but you still need to get out and meet people for a richer experience.

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    1. The word “revolutionized” is certainly over used, but not when you are describing the changes the internet made to the financial services industry. It is hard to even remember how difficult it was to manage investments before the World Wide Web.

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  3. I spend at least two hours reading nearly every day on the internet. It’s an incredible resource that has absolutely changed our lives. Being able to research real estate investing, FIRE, and more general investing methodologies certainly allowed us to leave our corporate jobs early. I’m also a general DIY kinda guy, so being able to Google anything and fix it is also a lifesaver. Hell, I built an entire 1000 square foot log cabin by watching internet videos!

    Twenty-five years ago, I was also starting to use the fledgling internet as an IT guy at the time. It obviously didn’t have nearly the content back then, but the incredible world it was opening hooked me immediately. The biggest change for me has been the reduction of television usage in the last 25 yrs. We’re much more likely to surf/read the internet now instead of watching TV for hours as we did 25 years ago. (I do miss newspapers though! I used to love the sports stats page!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with the advice for DIY. Looking back I don’t know how I got anything done without the internet. The illustrations in the shop manuals never looked like the real thing to me, and then of course you run into that problem that never seemed to be mentioned in the shop manual. Remember having to call around town to find a part or even driving to a shop because you didn’t know the correct name for whatever you were trying to replace. Now, parts just magically show up on your doorstep.

      My wife and I have become much more selective about what we watch on television now, and cannot stomach commercials. We are running out the clock out on a satellite contract and are going 100% streaming. Another benefit is that we don’t have fund channels that are at odds with our values, because we were forced to buy a package.

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      1. We are doing the same! We live in a very agricultural area (ie. way out in the boonies!) We are about to benefit from a new fiber optic line that was recently installed by our electrical co-op. I can’t wait until we are able to drop Direct TV and be able to stream.

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    2. Agree – for me, TV has been the big ‘loser’ from the internet usage. While I often multitask with both – the iPad or iPhone are usually the devices that have my attention over TV. DIY videos are really fun too. Even when I’m not working on something, I watch DIY videos. Increasingly IG Reels or Tik Tok.

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      1. As an experiment read the transcript of show or segment you have watched. You will be amazed how quickly you get through the transcript versus waiting for someone to read to you. The first time I did this a lightbulb went on and I understood why most television seems slow and boring.

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