Academics and The Internet: A Love/Hate Relationship
This will not be a take on the virtual world’s negative effects upon a human brain or an optimistic piece on how things are heading in the right direction. In fact, there is no more reason to even attempt to debate the internet’s influence on your studying routine. Whether you are doing a research on Wikipedia, or hanging out on history forums, at this point the internet has become a natural partof your studying and researching process. But what exactly are the things a regular student does while staying up late during a late-night studying session? Let’s take a look at the few educational virtues and vices that often seem to go hand in hand.
Wikipedia, a Twisted Land of Trivia
We’ve all been there. You sit down at your desk, determined to find the answers for a research paper you’ve been postponing all week long. One of the first things that comes to mind is going on Wikipedia for a quick overview. Now, gathering information entirely off the site is one of the most riskiest things to do, yet it is a perfect tool for a quick overview of the material, which you can then use as the basis for your research. How in the world is it then possible that after a few minutes you find yourself reading an entry that is in no way related not only to your paper, but to your field of interest?! Wikipedia is a knowledge drug and there should be a time limit for each page. It is our only hope.
Youtube, a Distracting Motivator
Look at your current tabs and you will see at least one Youtube tab in there along with the things you should be actually looking at. Being one of, if not the largest video hosting website out there, Youtube has it all. Now how does it contribute to your studying? Well there are many different ways it can actually help you concentrate on the current task. There are instrumental “homework edits” that are basically loops of your favorite songs that keep repeating over and over for an hour or two. You can even find your favorite theme songs turned into such edits.
On the other hand, you may just as well get lost among the ridiculous amount of cat videos, fail compilations and your favorite vine videos. While jumping from one short video to another seems like a short time, looking back at the clock you soon realize that you have spent way over three hours looking at a Japanese hornet fighting a spider.
Life-Consuming Online Libraries
God knows how much time I’ve spent reading essays on Stanislavsky’s method of acting while “researching” for a scientific paper. While they may seem similar to Wikipedia, online libraries that feature many study notes and guides that you should benefit from, are in fact bottomless pits of pure academic knowledge. There is no messing around with them, you go in and you never come back. Unlike Wikipedia’s rabbit hole of fun stuff, this stuff is pretty serious and there is no way in the world you can leave without paying the due respect to your fellow peers and reading an entire paper on the importance of deer antlers.