The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Internet: valuable tool or distraction

Viewpoint by Mario Montalvo/ne news editor

When I grew up, the Internet was not available in every home and every classroom. As much as the Internet was touted as a learning tool, it was more of a novelty to me. I spent hours at home or in school browsing the Web for pointless entertainment. Since then, not much has changed.

Maybe it’s my ADD, but I still get sidetracked with the Internet at school, home and work. I have to stop what I’m doing to look something up as soon as it pops in my head. What started out as a quick search for an address can turn into 30 or 40 minutes reading articles entirely unrelated.

We’re connected 24/7 through our phones and our computers. It’s difficult to resist the urge to check Twitter or Facebook when they’re always a click or a swipe away. I see students browsing the Web in class when they should be doing their schoolwork or paying attention to the instructor, especially in labs.

You don’t have to learn anything anymore because you can always look it up. Is having so much information at our fingertips making us dumber instead of smarter?

The Internet as a learning tool is highly overrated. With the exception of distance learning classes, I can’t recall ever having a class that couldn’t function without Internet access.

How much of our Internet usage is for educational enrichment anyway? Walking into a campus library or computer lab on any given day, you see students using campus computers to browse the Web. Except for maybe checking CampusCruiser, I mostly see them checking Facebook or YouTube.

In fact, most of the time spent online on- and off-campus is probably to write something stupid on Facebook or Twitter, to respond to something stupid somebody else wrote on Facebook or Twitter or to watch videos of people doing stupid stuff to get attention on YouTube. I know this because I, too, am guilty of doing it.

In the time it has taken me to write this article, I have checked my Facebook feed, tweeted and looked up something entirely unrelated. Maybe the reason I’m so easily distracted isn’t ADD. Maybe it’s the fact that the Internet makes it so easy to be distracted.

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