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Is the internet limiting personal growth?


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#1    Roy Don

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:50 AM

Hello everyone,

I did something last weekend that I have not done in a long time, read an actual ink and paper book. If anyone read my other topics then they may have noticed that I spend a lot of my time worrying about my family and my brother in particular, maybe obsessively, and that I have recently delved into a morbid curiosity that had me losing sleep and questioning whether I am a good and decent human being or a sick, unbalanced person in need of counseling.

When I am on internet I seem to have a twofold problem, I am too distracted to ever really give things real thought and with the world at my fingertips why should I even bother to think when I could just mindlessly surf the web? These things may sound like gross exaggerations of an otherwise trivial habit, and perhaps they are, but I have been connected for so long that I forgot what it was like growing up without internet access, what it feels like to not care about checking email or stocks or news stories or looking for free educational sites or just wasting time on Youtube or netflix. When I was reading and relaxing, I was focused, in touch with my self and very introspective, as opposed to how I seem to be growing more cynical, jaded, and detached from the world that I am communicating with on a daily basis.

So, my question is does anyone feel that spending to much time on the internet with it's endless distractions, advertisements, Sensationalized "news", and life draining routine is limiting their growth as a person? I only spend about 4-6 hours a day online but this seems like too much. It felt good to forget about the online world for a day or two and focus on myself and my own thoughts and concerns without thinking about something else that I could be doing.

I have also decided to read a book cover to cover once a week and not go online until I am finished. I will start tomorrow, but I am looking forward to seeing what others think when I do reconnect with the world in a few days.


#2    SpiritWriter

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:06 AM

yes

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#3    bLu3 de 3n3rgy

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 06:34 AM

It depends entirely what you are using the internet for. In those 4 - 6 hrs a day you could be a student studying and researching, or perhaps a business / self employed owner making and maintaining your living. See what I mean ? the time spent online is dependant on how productive you are being. If those 4 - 6hrs or more is being spent on completely self centred activities and behaving in a negative manner ( not saying you are, but many do ) like trolling and creating drama on social media or forums day in day out, then i would say yes that would be hugely detrimental to any persons personal growth. It's reinforcing a very negative way of being, day in day out and that is gonna cause some pretty serious distortions and mental /personality problems eventually. But if it's being spent in a positive healthy way then no.

I think you are onto something though that having time away from the internet is a healthy thing to do. Everyone should make it a habit to take 24hrs out from time to time and spend the time on yourself.

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#4    Hugh

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:35 AM

View PostRoy Don, on 22 April 2014 - 05:50 AM, said:

So, my question is does anyone feel that spending to much time on the internet with it's endless distractions, advertisements, Sensationalized "news", and life draining routine is limiting their growth as a person?

I've learned a great deal more from surfing on the net over the years then I ever have from reading a book.

Plus, the way that one can instantly access all the latest news from the world, and from family and friends (eg. facebook) and connect with them too, is truly amazing.

So for me, I find that the internet has enabled to me grow in my knowledge of, and connectivity with the world.

The key is though, to be able to balance all of that interesting and enriching time surfing the net, with the time necessary for getting your daily routine and exercise in.

If you can keep fit exercising every day, and do your job / daily routine / family time / surfing the net, all in proper proportion, it can be like, totally awesome. :)

Edited by Hugh, 22 April 2014 - 07:36 AM.


#5    madera

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:48 AM

?Nothing can limit personal growth but ourselves


#6    madera

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:53 AM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 22 April 2014 - 06:06 AM, said:

yes

That is my favorite scripture , thanks.


#7    SecretAgentMathew

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

View PostbLu3 de 3n3rgy, on 22 April 2014 - 06:34 AM, said:

It depends entirely what you are using the internet for. In those 4 - 6 hrs a day you could be a student studying and researching, or perhaps a business / self employed owner making and maintaining your living. See what I mean ? the time spent online is dependant on how productive you are being. If those 4 - 6hrs or more is being spent on completely self centred activities and behaving in a negative manner ( not saying you are, but many do ) like trolling and creating drama on social media or forums day in day out, then i would say yes that would be hugely detrimental to any persons personal growth. It's reinforcing a very negative way of being, day in day out and that is gonna cause some pretty serious distortions and mental /personality problems eventually. But if it's being spent in a positive healthy way then no.

I think you are onto something though that having time away from the internet is a healthy thing to do. Everyone should make it a habit to take 24hrs out from time to time and spend the time on yourself.

I'd say a big YES and 24 hours would feel like death


#8    rodentraiser

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:24 AM

"So, my question is does anyone feel that spending to much time on the internet with it's endless distractions, advertisements, Sensationalized "news", and life draining routine is limiting their growth as a person?"

Heck, no!

Of course, this is my opinion. But for years and years I've had hobbies that other people call weird: dollhouses and miniatures, model horses, astronomy, raising and showing mice. I've put up with a lot of crap from people telling me to grow up, quit acting so immature, and to do the things a NORMAL woman does. That is, get married and have kids. I've had zero support form my family and coworkers when it comes to my hobbies.

Getting online I've found forums with easily thousands of members who enjoy the same things I do. I've actually become far more social than I used to be, meeting people in person from the forums I've joined. In fact, on one forum that seemed to have a lot of local people on it, we all decided to meet in person and began to have monthly meetings and road trips as a group. It was blast (I say was, because I had to move to another part of the country).

One of the things I think is a huge benefit of the internet is the exchange of ideas. One person thinks of something, another person takes it a step further. I've been involved in dollhouses and miniatures since the early 80s and I can see how much the quality of miniatures, decoration, and hand made items has improved. The most basic beginner today is able to achieve a level that wouldn't have been possible by experts a couple decades ago. Magazines that are about real houses and interior design are light years away from where they used to be even from in the mid 90s. Magazines reflect the trends that are going on in the US; they don't fuel it. The changes are being fueled by the quick exchange of ideas where so many people at one time can see what used to be able to be seen by only a few locals. I don't know where this is heading, but I love it!

This is a bit long, but it's well worth reading. This is something James Burke said on a video once, and keep in mind that this was probably from the mid 80s:

Values change every time the universe changes and that's every time we redefine a big enough bit of it, which we do all the time through the process of discovery, which is just the invention of another version of how things are.

And yet, in spite of that, we still go on believing that today's version of things is the only right one because we can handle only one way of seeing things at a time, because we've never had systems that would let us do more than that, so we've always had to have conformity with the current view. Disagree with the church, you were punished as a heretic; with the political system, as a revolutionary; with the scientific establishment, as a charleton; with the educational system, as a failure. If you didn't fit the mold, you were rejected.

But, ironically, the latest product of that way of doing things, is a new instrument, a new system, that, while it could make conformity more rigid, more totaltarian than ever before in history, could also blow everything wide open. Because with it, we could operate on the basis that values and standards and ethic and facts and truths all depend on what your view of the world is. And there may be as many views of that as there are people.

And with this (picking up a computer chip), capable of keeping a tally on those millions of those opinions voiced electronically, we might be able to lift the limitations of conforming to any centralized representational form of government, originally invented because there was no way for everybody's voice to be heard. We might be able to give everybody unhindered, untested access to knowledge, because the computer would do the day to day work for which we once qualified the select few in an educational system originally designed for a world where only a few could be taught.

You might end regimentation of people living and working in vast, unmanageable cities, uniting them instead in an electronic community where the Himalayas and Manhattan were only a split second apart. You might do that and much more: break the mold which has held us back since the beginning, in a future world which we would describe as balanced anarchy, and they will describe as an open society, tolerant of every view, aware that there is no single priveleged way of doing things. Above all, able to do away with the greatest tragedy of our era: the centuries-old waste of human talent that we couldn't or wouldn't use. Utopia? Why? If, as I've said all along, if the universe is, at any time, what you say it is, then say!

This was based on a book and TV series of the same name "The Day the Universe Changed". The idea that was explored is that what we believe in at any given time can be replaced by other knowldge and then that becomes what we believe in (think of how we now view drinking and driving). The simple words: "We are what we know and when what we know changes, so do we." is a pretty breathtaking concept, except, I guess, for people who are opposed to change of any kind. At any rate, I still think it was astonishing when this was written, long before there was an internet today as we know it.

And by the way, I am on the computer pretty much 6 to 8 hours a day, NOT working on it, and I currently have 3 books going at one time, not to mention shows that I choose to watch and magazines I need to read. As you can tell, I think the internet is one huge playground just made for me to learn things from.

Edited by rodentraiser, 23 April 2014 - 01:29 AM.

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#9    madera

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 09:08 PM

View Postrodentraiser, on 23 April 2014 - 01:24 AM, said:

"So, my question is does anyone feel that spending to much time on the internet with it's endless distractions, advertisements, Sensationalized "news", and life draining routine is limiting their growth as a person?"

Heck, no!

Of course, this is my opinion. But for years and years I've had hobbies that other people call weird: dollhouses and miniatures, model horses, astronomy, raising and showing mice. I've put up with a lot of crap from people telling me to grow up, quit acting so immature, and to do the things a NORMAL woman does. That is, get married and have kids. I've had zero support form my family and coworkers when it comes to my hobbies.

Getting online I've found forums with easily thousands of members who enjoy the same things I do. I've actually become far more social than I used to be, meeting people in person from the forums I've joined. In fact, on one forum that seemed to have a lot of local people on it, we all decided to meet in person and began to have monthly meetings and road trips as a group. It was blast (I say was, because I had to move to another part of the country).

One of the things I think is a huge benefit of the internet is the exchange of ideas. One person thinks of something, another person takes it a step further. I've been involved in dollhouses and miniatures since the early 80s and I can see how much the quality of miniatures, decoration, and hand made items has improved. The most basic beginner today is able to achieve a level that wouldn't have been possible by experts a couple decades ago. Magazines that are about real houses and interior design are light years away from where they used to be even from in the mid 90s. Magazines reflect the trends that are going on in the US; they don't fuel it. The changes are being fueled by the quick exchange of ideas where so many people at one time can see what used to be able to be seen by only a few locals. I don't know where this is heading, but I love it!

This is a bit long, but it's well worth reading. This is something James Burke said on a video once, and keep in mind that this was probably from the mid 80s:

Values change every time the universe changes and that's every time we redefine a big enough bit of it, which we do all the time through the process of discovery, which is just the invention of another version of how things are.

And yet, in spite of that, we still go on believing that today's version of things is the only right one because we can handle only one way of seeing things at a time, because we've never had systems that would let us do more than that, so we've always had to have conformity with the current view. Disagree with the church, you were punished as a heretic; with the political system, as a revolutionary; with the scientific establishment, as a charleton; with the educational system, as a failure. If you didn't fit the mold, you were rejected.

But, ironically, the latest product of that way of doing things, is a new instrument, a new system, that, while it could make conformity more rigid, more totaltarian than ever before in history, could also blow everything wide open. Because with it, we could operate on the basis that values and standards and ethic and facts and truths all depend on what your view of the world is. And there may be as many views of that as there are people.

And with this (picking up a computer chip), capable of keeping a tally on those millions of those opinions voiced electronically, we might be able to lift the limitations of conforming to any centralized representational form of government, originally invented because there was no way for everybody's voice to be heard. We might be able to give everybody unhindered, untested access to knowledge, because the computer would do the day to day work for which we once qualified the select few in an educational system originally designed for a world where only a few could be taught.

You might end regimentation of people living and working in vast, unmanageable cities, uniting them instead in an electronic community where the Himalayas and Manhattan were only a split second apart. You might do that and much more: break the mold which has held us back since the beginning, in a future world which we would describe as balanced anarchy, and they will describe as an open society, tolerant of every view, aware that there is no single priveleged way of doing things. Above all, able to do away with the greatest tragedy of our era: the centuries-old waste of human talent that we couldn't or wouldn't use. Utopia? Why? If, as I've said all along, if the universe is, at any time, what you say it is, then say!

This was based on a book and TV series of the same name "The Day the Universe Changed". The idea that was explored is that what we believe in at any given time can be replaced by other knowldge and then that becomes what we believe in (think of how we now view drinking and driving). The simple words: "We are what we know and when what we know changes, so do we." is a pretty breathtaking concept, except, I guess, for people who are opposed to change of any kind. At any rate, I still think it was astonishing when this was written, long before there was an internet today as we know it.

And by the way, I am on the computer pretty much 6 to 8 hours a day, NOT working on it, and I currently have 3 books going at one time, not to mention shows that I choose to watch and magazines I need to read. As you can tell, I think the internet is one huge playground just made for me to learn things from.
Consider what kids aiso learn on the computer.  It also has its negative info.


#10    Whisperer

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:18 AM

I would suggest that it is the written word itself that limits personal growth because the words are descriptive to the point of not requiring full consideration of the context as opposed to say a pictorial language might in allowing the mind to be exercised rather than hypnotised....maybe.

Sure, I learned a lot but its not empirical learning, its just 'hearing' about a concept, it doesn't give me the scope to pursue the depths of the meaning expressed, only reinforces the acceptance of the 'word' as holding on to the concrete meaning of the word itself and therefore, the expression of the intent of the writer rather than the knowledge of the subject or context of the subject itself...
Woah...this is getting too deep for me now....

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#11    Professor T

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:38 AM

Yes & no..
IMO the Internet helps cultivate a zone of disconnection from humanity.. Yeah, the world is at your fingertips, and all the information you want for gratifying your Ego or studying to become a better you is there for the taking, but downloading self help books isn't the same as reading them.. and Donation a few dollars to the poor or needy isn't the same as unplugging from the net, getting off your a$$ and going to have a cup of tea and a friendly chat with a lonely elderly neighbor..  One needs to strike the right balance to get the best out of both worlds.


#12    spacecowboy342

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:48 AM

The internet doesn't do anything. It's what people do on the internet that can be positive or negative. For me it put's the world at my fingertips. I can't imagine what it would have been like to have when I was a child


#13    ouija ouija

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 07:10 PM

I'm interested in this 'I have the world at my fingertips'(online) idea that so many people love and feel is a good thing. I'm interested because I feel that our human brains are only designed to cope with a very 'local' life. Once we start taking onboard information on thousands of subjects from all around the world and involving ourselves in the affairs of millions of other people, I think we start unravelling. I think we become exasperrated, dissatisfied, angry, frightened, and feel used, duped, inadequate and impotent. Or maybe that's just me.

What, in all the world, could I do to earn my living and still live as myself, as I knew myself to be? Temporary masks, I knew, had their place; everyone was wearing them, they were the human rage; but not masks cemented in place until the wearer could not breathe and was eventually suffocated.

#14    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:52 PM

Iv always found the internet to be a tool for researching things that you didn't know before, I' spend time on the internet researching things and to a slight degree connecting with others. I had a Facebook page about a year ago for all of three days, and the reason I closed the account was that kids i went to high school with where asking to be my friends and I didn't even talk to those kids in school, they were in different groups than me, we never hung out or anything, So I see Facebook as being something that you pretend to make more friends with just to get your friend status up. But other than that I really don't spend a lot of time on the internet, I read and watch animes and do other stuff without the aid of the internet.

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#15    spacecowboy342

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:46 AM

View Postouija ouija, on 24 April 2014 - 07:10 PM, said:

I'm interested in this 'I have the world at my fingertips'(online) idea that so many people love and feel is a good thing. I'm interested because I feel that our human brains are only designed to cope with a very 'local' life. Once we start taking onboard information on thousands of subjects from all around the world and involving ourselves in the affairs of millions of other people, I think we start unravelling. I think we become exasperrated, dissatisfied, angry, frightened, and feel used, duped, inadequate and impotent. Or maybe that's just me.
I disagree. We are hardwired by evolution to be social animals. This is just the next step in evolution. When I was young I would never have conceived that I could lie in bed and have a conversation with someone on the other side of the world for free. The free exchange of ideas is the greatest hope for mankind. We must become one tribe or destroy ourselves





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