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The Internet: Deathly Destroyer of Productivity

A big sparkly welcome to our newest YA Highway contributor (and resident artist) Emilia Plater! For more about Emilia, visit our Who We Are page.

It's happened to all of us at least once. You're minding your own business and trying to get some writing or reading done when, out of the clear blue sky, a Dastardly Distractor succeeds in attaching itself to your brain. More often than not, these Dastardly Distractors report to one overlord, and one overlord only: The Internet.

By the time you become aware of the presence of a Dastardly Distractor on your brain, it is often too late. It has wrapped its terrible tentacles firmly around your electrical receptors. This calamitous creature has one purpose only - to control you. You must obey its orders. You must open your browser and visit its assigned e-destination.

Resistance is futile. You may obey the orders of this Dastardly Distractor with a shining promise to yourself: you will only visit its e-destination--no others. But a worse challenge lies ahead. As soon as this first one senses the breakdown of your willpower, it emits a call to its cousins. Suddenly, a torrent of Dastardly Distractors takes hold of your mind. Each one snakes its tentacles through your brain matter, and each one secrets its custom orders. Gmail! Twitter! Youtube! Facebook! Google! Go, pawn - to The Internet!

The takeover your brain by the Dastardly Distractors is completed with the first opening of the browser. You surf frantically, jumping from site to site, swearing to yourself that this is the last site. This is the last refresh. The terrible truth? With the delivery of your soul to The Internet by its minions, you have come across a foe of unlimited power.

Few, if any mortals win the fight against The Internet's notorious Attention Span Reducing powers. You become a human squirrel, and with the tiresome return to your Word document, you find that your ability to focus on writing a paragraph - much less an entire page - has been decimated. Who wants to spend ten minutes crafting a sentence when you can visit ten sites and check out hilarious pictures of kittens in half that time?

The fight between The Internet and workers is an eternal one. In truth, by the time that first Dastardly Distractor attaches to your mind, the battle is often already lost. So the key may be this: do not let that first one attach.

How can you achieve this? Practice not going near The Internet until you have your work done. Delete its iniquitous icon from your task-bar. Create a new, clean account on your computer specifically meant for writing. On the weekend, don't let the Dastardly Distractors start floating above your head: wave them away as soon as you wake up and get straight to work.

Then, after you're finished, call those Dastardly Distractors back in and tell them to control you as much as their hearts desire. Because there's nothing like goofing off guiltlessly after a productive few hours of working.

~Emilia Plater
Kirsten Hubbard

Kirsten is the author of Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, and the middle grade novel Watch the Sky.

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  1. Bwahahaha!

    Great post, Emilia! :D

    The Dastardly Distractors and I know each other well. It should be noted that wearing a tin foil hat does nothing to deter them. ;)

  2. Spectacular art, stellar post.

    And on that note...

    I recommend everyone download the LeeachBlock script if they use Firefox:

    Once you download it, you can find it under Tools. It lets you lockdown certain sites during certain hours. To repel the internet demons. I mean, you can always log on to Explorer to get around it, but at least it's a guilt-inducing extra step.

  3. Luckily, I don't have to worry about the Dastardly Distractors when writing, because I use a completely different computer for the internet! When I have online classes, though, uh... *waves shamefully at Dastardly Distractors*

  4. Haha, this has been me for the last few days. I have written probably 0 words and read at least a thousand blogs. It's so true that word documents become boring after too much internet fun. I am planning on de-activating my facebook account for at least two weeks -- but not until I return to school :)

  5. Lol!

    Dastardly Distractors work all to well against me. I never get anything done these days, haha.

    Great post Emilia, love the drawings :D

    And Kirsten that's a great tip! *goes to download leeachblock*

  6. LOL!

    I loved this post.

    *waves at Dastardly Distractors*

    We are now on first name bases.


  7. Niiiice.

    Luckily, I've always had the fortitude to fight these forces of evil.

    *clicks back to overstuffed Google Reader*

  8. I know I'm late, but I really wish there were some way to favorite blog articles! <3


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Item Reviewed: The Internet: Deathly Destroyer of Productivity Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kirsten Hubbard