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Reflection on William Gibson’s the Net Is a Waste of Time

Lots of people throughout the globe have allowed the Web to rule over their lives in oppressive ways. The Web may be helpful for various things, including academics, research, and getting more information about a subject that someone finds interesting. Otherwise, individuals could also abuse the Internet, thus overwhelming users who spend longer than three hours online—refusing to acknowledge the potential outcomes in such a way as to isolate them from the outer world. While some people may find the net beautiful, others may find themselves drawn off on their own down the shadowy path. This reflection aims to persuade the audience and prove to the readers that the Internet is not wholly a waste of time, as claimed by William Gibson, but it is a crucial tool in the 21st century.

William Gibson claims that the Internet is growing over the generations as they come to pass, and there is no sign of things ending. In his article, William Gibson describes himself as an enthusiastic user of the Internet. Gibson believes otherwise, saying, “I, nonetheless, sniff tremendous developments underway, prospects that have never been rather as evident in prior generations of the Internet,” even though most people find this unusual and his wife finds it downright perverted (Gibson 1). William Gibson highlights the disparities between how technology has advanced over the past ten years and the influences arousing elements of concern on how it affects its users. Nevertheless, the Internet has a significant influence on society in almost Everything. William Gibson wrote this piece in 1996, once the Internet was in its early stages, and it is related to how standard TVs have become. William Gibson tries to convince his spouse of the benefits of the Internet throughout their talk, but she is unmoved. While people continually download pirated movies and music, certain things have not changed, and the Internet now informs of a dispute. Nowadays, people may chat with friends online via Microsoft Live, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Even service members use the Web to attend board meetings held worldwide. Even though the net has dramatically evolved since William Gibson wrote this essay, it will keep growing and play a more prominent role in our daily lives.

Gibson is merely engaging in aimless internet exploration, but he seems addicted to it. When Gibson begins browsing and aimlessly linking his path around these tiny bits of digital real estate and asks himself, “Is this leisure, or do I somehow imagine that I am doing some more dynamic function?” (Gibson 2). Although the Internet remains in its infancy, Television has existed for some time, evolving into a common form of entertainment in households. The Internet is just the beginning of a future run by technology in which everyone uses machines regularly. The world invented the Internet during the times when Television was popular; this means that the Internet would also evolve beyond its early stages. William Gibson claims that the Internet is reaching a medium based on its evolution and growth. “Not that I can even remotely imagine what that medium might be.” The writer envisions the Internet as some form of passage that people will view as it progresses through its stages. He wonders what the next stage of the Internet and technology might bring forth. The Internet, just like TV, will always be entertaining, and it will always progress through media, as William Gibson envisions.

Gibson’s thought of the Internet reaching a medium is wrong, given that technology is growing daily. At this point, machines can build other machines, affecting human employment opportunities. However, technology has led to the invention of new job roles in the industry and increased efficiency. Gibson is right when he says that the Internet has made us lazy. According to research by Travis Waldron, nearly half of American College Students drop out before earning a degree. Only 56% of students who enroll in American colleges and universities graduate within six years, and only 29% of students who enroll in two-year programs finish their degrees within three (Michel, 1). We are starting to get too lethargic to pursue a degree because life has gotten easy. The Internet makes things easy for us so that we do not get too involved in the most important things, making people lazy. Therefore, it is evident that the Internet will continue advancing and will always make work less complicated and people lazy.

Gibson is wrong in the claim that the Internet is a waste of time without mentioning the benefits it instead presents to its users. Of course, there is much information, and although some liken it to a fire hose, others assert that they can still quench their thirst by looking for “the farthest fringe of the water explosion and aim to capture some spray” (Heffernan 55). There is a wealth of knowledge on the Web that is helpful to everyone in the world. Different individuals use the Web for various things. Some people use it to look for disease information, while others use it to conduct business, pay bills, buy, and more. William Gibson is also wrong to state that the Internet will become less random and fun. Francis DaCosta argues that social media enable real-time communication with persons countless miles apart (DaCosta 125). The Internet has grown into a large entertainment field with lots of fun. Connecting with others has become simple and enjoyable thanks to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Social media networks are crucial for maintaining human connections. The Internet is just a way of passing the time but not wasting time, and its evolution will be more fun.

The Internet is also a promising enabler of remote working. People can now complete tasks conveniently in their homes (DaCosta 125). Gibson claims that when people see individuals on the Internet, they might even imagine they are working (Gibson, 5). The statement is wrong because sometimes, these people are working. The job market has undergone a significant transformation because of the Web. Early technology is getting abandoned and experiences losses for people who still invest in it. “Only the very old or the economically disadvantaged…” (Gibson 4). Television’s use these days is being abandoned, and people are moving towards digital Television, which is solely dependent on the Internet. The claim of old technology signing out is evident as claimed. The Internet has brought about new means of working, such as remote offices, and technological advancement leads to the extinction of earlier technologies.

Internet users have many experiences that can be fulfilling; however, the use of the Internet can sometimes be abusive and time-consuming. Therefore, people need to control themselves over the Internet, which will promote the advantages of this technology. The Internet is growing every day with the introduction of new technologies and will continue to play a significant role in our lives. Nonetheless, the Internet has a lot of leisurely experiences for its users, and just like Television, it will transform through stages of development with the realization of new technologies. Although the Internet can be addictive and makes its users lazy, it has brought new ways of doing things, such as remote working, while opening new opportunities we have never imagined. There is no medium that the Internet will reach, the journey of advancement in technology is instead an infinite one, and there will be the development of new versions while facing the earlier stages.

Works Cited

Cournoyer, Michel. “U.S. | Only 56 Percent Of College Students Complete Four-Year Degrees Within Six Years”. Job Market Monitor, 2022,

DaCosta, Francis. Rethinking the Internet of Things: A scalable Approach to Connecting Everything. Apress, 2013.

Gibson, William. “The Net Is a Waste of Time.” The New York Times, 1996. Web.

Heffernan, Virginia. Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art. Simon and Schuster, 2016.


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