Shen's Corner

co-existing with the internet

Shen Gao
Sep 27
3 min
shen surfing on the internet with old space jam website in the background

one thing i’ve grown increasingly embarrassed about is my screen time. 

not trying to be hashtag relatable!! but actually.. 

the weekly report i receive reminds me that i’ve spent an ungodly amount of my life rotting away in front of my phone.. prompting a fun little existential crisis of sorts. 

don’t get me wrong - i adore the internet. with that being said.. it does feel a bit gross when i find out i’ve spent upwards of several hours on tiktok when i could arguably be doing more productive things with my time. a humbling experience indeed.

recently, i’ve been reflecting on the way i live my life. thinking about what i really want to do, who i want to be, and how everything might play out.. i’ve come to realize that with how i usually spend my time, i end up on my deathbed with more regrets than anything.

so now here i am!! on this silly little quest to seek balance in my life!!!!!

i tend to draw a lot of inspiration from the things i consume. which just so happen to be things i find online. never before in history has such a sheer volume of information and ideas been so readily available to us!!

yet somehow, with these seemingly boundless possibilities also comes this sense of dread. it feels like there are an infinite number of potential paths i will never go down, lives that i will never live. kind of like a more tame version of that remedial chaos theory episode on community. except it all comes down to a random link i click or a person i follow!!

i do recognize that the internet plays a huge role in my life and the work i currently do. but like.. do i really want to grant algorithms, cheeky behemoths of code i can’t even begin to understand, total and utter control over how i think and feel?? 

to what extent do i really need to keep up with what is going on?? at what point does being online not feel so fun and nice anymore??? and how much consumption is too much consumption?????

there are so many questions i’m still trying to find the answers to. but i think it largely boils down to being able to find a happy medium of sorts. being more present. finding time to be offline. and remembering to create things (just because!!) every once in a while!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

so. in conclusion. i think that the internet is really what we make of it. and how we live out our lives outside of it. very much a choose your own destiny sort of thing. it can be equally beautiful and terrifying, a means of creation and destruction. but so long as we remember that we do have very Real Lives outside of the ones we curate for ourselves online.. Good can (and will) ultimately prevail!! 

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