Everyone has their Achilles’ Heel when it comes to wasting time on the internet. For Hapa Papa, it’s ESPN or Yahoo News. For me, it’s the usual suspects: Facebook, Huffington Post, miscellaneous blogs, and the New York Times. Occasionally, I’ll read The Economist. You know, when I’m trying to seem smart. But mostly, I “Wiki Walk” (a term I didn’t know until just now, but immediately recognized in the depths of my being as 95% of my interactions with the internet).
I originally was going to list out all my major time sucks, but I realize it would be an extremely short list. Basically, other than the obvious ones I just listed, I Google and Wikipedia. What do I Google and Wiki? Occasionally, major topics or controversial news items, but mostly, my internet black holes involve analyzing or discussing TV shows, movies, and books. Particularly fandoms and show/book specific wikis/forums.
Oh gracious. I just realized. I read about things I watch or want to watch. Not only that, I read about reading. When I say it like that, it makes me kind of sad.
Whatever. Too late to change now.
At any rate, I can’t even overemphasize how much I am on Wikipedia. I really should donate money. Sometimes, I skip Google and go straight here when I want to know a quick, overall summary on a subject. Yes, at times, it can be unreliable, but let’s face it. I’m rarely on here researching important things. I’m usually here to look up minor celebrities, bands, and of course, TV shows, movies, and books.
I find it particularly helpful when I want to know the general plot about a movie (especially horror) that I have no intention of watching but still want to know what happened. I do this for books, too (eg: Twilight and 50 Shades). Sometimes, I want to remind myself of what happened in books or shows that I’ve already consumed but am too lazy to re-read or re-watch. Sometimes, I use it to bone up my geek cred in graphic novels and series. There are SO MANY applications!
Other than Wikipedia, I also frequent episode summary sites (my favorite of which is TWoP). Why would I read and discuss shows I just watched? If you have to ask, YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE. But for the case of bridging the divide, I love reading the summaries for the snark, to see what I missed (in terms of making random esoteric connections), and to feel loved and understood by fellow crazies. Reading discussions on forums (I am really much more of a lurker than a contributor) makes it seem as if I’m hanging out with my friends, discussing my favorite shows. I furiously text with some of my friends who love the same shows I do and this is more of the same. Except, of course, that they are all strangers. DON’T JUDGE ME.
I haven’t even gotten into fan fiction and fan art. Perhaps I should just quit while I’m ahead. Needless to say, tumblr and deviantART are not unknown to me.
Seriously, I can’t believe how much time I spend on fan-related subjects. This is somewhat alarming.
Well, since I’m outing myself as a total dork (although, really, not much of a surprise), I might as well tell you about TV Tropes. I can’t even go to this site anymore. I think I originally stumbled upon this site when I was Googling and devouring all things related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (incidentally, what started the site off in the first place). I highly recommend this site if you want to kill an entire afternoon/evening/day/life. Basically, it’s a wiki that collects and expands on various conventions and devices (tropes) in TV shows (and many other creative works).
Plus, if you’re into writing stories of any kind, this site is particularly helpful for plot ideas, common pitfalls, and incredibly detailed analysis. (Yes, that’s the reason I love this site. Research! Yes, research…)
Alright. I showed you mine. Now, show me yours. I promise not to judge (much).