5 January 2024
By Roger Kennedy
Nowadays, there are countless ways to use the internet – some great, and others we’d rather not talk about. This has led to a never-ending discussion of whether the internet and particularly social media are bad. As with most other things in life, the answer is typically more nuanced than that, as there are both harmful and beneficial ways to use the internet.
Even if we’re just looking at its entertainment uses, the internet has a lot of great things to offer. So, if your New Year’s resolution included something along the lines of “Spend less time browsing on the phone or computer,” let’s throw in an amendment – spend less time browsing aimlessly. As long as you cut that out, it’s still perfectly fine to enjoy all the quality entertainment available online.
5) Healthy Social Media Use
Social media often gets the brunt of the “internet is bad” hate. There are good reasons for that too. However, that doesn’t mean social media can’t be used adequately. A properly curated feed of just the right size and comprising the perfect groups/follows for your needs can be the ideal lunch break entertainment. The trick is to keep your feed from bloating to an unmanageable size and spiralling into a near-constant scrolling addiction.
Reading is one of the oldest forms of entertainment, and it’s never been more accessible. From blogs and guides to encyclopaedias and much more, the internet has revolutionized reading in ways we don’t often give it credit for. Whether you’re looking for new books to read or just want to keep up with your local news, both are immeasurably easier and more convenient online.
Folks today often complain that “people don’t read anymore,” but then they base that solely on the purchasing and reading of books. In reality, however, people are reading more than ever before. At the end of the day, whether you’re purchasing and reading a cookbook or reading a few dozen recipes online, you’ve still done the same amount of reading. The same goes for any paper encyclopaedia vs online encyclopaedia, fiction book vs ebook or audiobook, a literary critic’s book or review blog, etc.
Granted, not everything online is worth reading, but not everything printed on paper is really worth it either. Ultimately, if you’re a fan of written entertainment, there’s plenty of it online.
3) Enjoying Music
For many people, listening to music at home isn’t as much entertainment as background noise when we’re doing something else. When was the last time you listened to an album from start to finish without being on your phone or computer or doing chores at the same time? Many people primarily think of music as entertainment when they go to concerts or clubs, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Besides, we don’t need to list the numerous benefits of listening to music, as those have been studied and demonstrated many times before.
It could be that the internet has made listening to music a bit too easy and mundane. There is a certain romanticism in turning on a record player, putting a record on and hearing that signature crackling noise. Nevertheless, the convenience of the internet bringing the entire world’s musical library to the palm of your hand can’t be understated. Even if it isn’t as romantic as turning on an old-timey record player, setting aside some time in your day to listen to music is still one of the highest forms of entertainment.
Nowadays, streaming is as broad of a category as reading. After all, we can watch streams of anything – movies, TV shows, sports, video games, podcasts, concerts, live shows or even stuff such as eagles nesting or just grass growing.
And, as with reading, maybe not all of those are worth our attention – not all streams can be as entertaining as watching grass grow. Yet, it’s undeniable that streaming is a fantastic type of entertainment which can bring us a lot of joy, insight and knowledge.
Binge-watching is a big risk here, of course, just like getting addicted to the social media scroll. This doesn’t mean it’s not a good form of entertainment. It just means we should be careful how we consume it.
Gaming is probably the entertainment category that’s grown more exponentially than any other in the last few decades. Gone are the days when kids’ main two options were rugger or soccer. Today, there aren’t just hundreds of types of physical sports; there are countless games online – browser games, PC games, consoles, VR games, sports betting, online gambling and much more.
Many are trashy cash grabs that don’t bring much gameplay value, but there are also thousands of awesome brain-tingling games, so it’s important to pick wisely. Whether you’re looking through the Steam store or through a carefully curated selection of the best casinos online, there certainly are great entertainment options out there.
Like all other great things in life, the best forms of online entertainment – or INtertainment – are only best when consumed in moderation. Most forms of gaming make for phenomenal hobbies but can quickly turn into harmful addictions if we’re not careful. The same goes for binge stream watching or social media. The trick is to use such intertainment options responsibly and not to just cut them out of our lives completely.