Here’s the assignment prompt, courtesy of Professor Max Dawson:
“For your final project, your task is to create a work that exploits the unique capabilities of digital media to make an original statement on digital culture. Your project will revisit and engage with the questions of determination addressed at the start of the class, making reference to a specific contemporary debate. The debate you choose to focus on is up to you – the only topics excluded are the ones you have already written on for previous assignments. Similarly, you will choose the medium or media in which you will work (e.g., video, website, photo essay, game, etc.). Your project should not be a traditional research essay, yet it should demonstrate the same critical rigor that characterizes academic writing.”
After some mind-wracking, as specified in the preface, I decided to look into how I was wasting my time on the Internet day by day in the hopes that I’ll find out what URLs I really need to limit my time on/stay away from.
Without further ado, here are the results from Day I of this little pseudo-experiment. The results were supposed to have been posted yesterday and are also a little fudged due to the Great External Harddrive Crash and Laptop Boot Failure of 2010.
Ah yes, by the way, thank you RescueTime app for Chrome.
I didn’t post Rescue Time’s calculations about my efficiency, because I couldn’t figure out their algorithm too well, and from what little I could figure out, it looked like total bullshit. Sites seem to be graded based on “productivity” numbers on a scale between -2.0 to 2.0; the more positive the number, the more productive the site. The grading is somewhat arbitrary. The NYTimes is labeled as a -2.0, a productivity black hole, while Wikipedia is rated at a 2.0. (I’m sure we all know that Wikipedia can make a plenty nice black hole itself.) Numbers are then summed together based on the amount of time spent on each site to get this quotient. The assignment of productivity was just too arbitrary for my taste.
Initial round of data reveals that I spent 2 hours and 24 minutes on the 28th. The cumulative time is a bit misleading, because it only features the browsing that I did on my main laptop. I spent a lot of time on my secondary netbook while attempting to resuscitate my laptop from its boot failure.
I’m not surprised that I Wikipedia came in at numero uno in terms of usage. For crying out loud, Wikipedia’s Random Page function is my homepage. I do a significant amount of link-hopping every day on that site. But I am additionally frequently compelled to Wiki to gather information for assignments (like this one). It’s a place for pleasure and work; makes sense that it eats a lot of time.
I’m also not surprised that GMail is a close number two. I check my e-mail fanatically (like everyone else) to make sure I never miss anything.
Meh on sports.yahoo.com being ranked so high. I deluded myself into thinking that I don’t visit sports sites so often. Guess I’m just another one of the bros. Here’s a place that I definitely need to try and cut down on.
Yea to the New York Times. RescueTime may call the Times a waste of time, but RescueTime also deems visiting RescueTime.com to be “amazingly productive.”
Boo on the significant proportion of time spent on my own website. This reeks of narcissism. Though to cut myself some slack, I was on here to work on this assignment.
Anyhow, some pretty expected, if somewhat inaccurate results. Day II graphs should be more comprehensive and encompassing. I’m somewhat scared about seeing a more accurate time counter.