I do not work at a job where I can access the internet and do little mundane things to “refresh” myself like the article above says many workers do while on the job. I’m happy to see some studies pushing employers to allow a little bit of free time for their employees. It’s healthy to take a small break. It’s unhealthy to obsess and work non-stop for hours on end. It leads to a mental burn-out.
But from my personal experience, the internet can be a very dangerous temptation if I’m doing school related work activities on it. From my own home, I tend to get a little distracted and say “oh, I’ll take a little breather by checking my e-mail” and before I know it, it’s been a whole 30 minutes or an entire hour. Where has the time gone?!
I think I’m slightly addicted to the internet.
But only slightly.
I don’t tend to have that problem while at the university on their own computers. I take a class that requires me to do work on a computer for an hour or two, and I can focus all my energy into reaching my goal. Is it the classroom environment? Is it the professor? Is it the fact that its class time” and not “personal time”? Who knows; I just know that when it counts, I can get my work done.
So while I enjoy that the study above proves that drifting off a little here and there can be harmless and actually benefit everyone, I think that serious consideration should be taken on an individual basis of who can and cannot handle the freedom of browsing the internet while on the job. Many people are actually addicted to the internet and they cannot handle the responsibility of monitoring themselves. It is sad, but it is a compulsion that can be overcome. :)