Get a Degree in Wasting Time!

Hannah Kim, Photojournalist

Honestly, who can say the have NEVER wasted time on the Internet. Whether it be watching odd videos, checking emails and notifications, browsing through online shopping sites, or mindlessly scrolling through every single social media site you have signed up for. Kyla Qumsieh(11) says, “Honestly speaking, after school I am on my phone for about two and a half hours just looking at social media and on YouTube before I start homework.”


Today’s society is dependent on technology. We use technology for everything, for calculators, to dictionaries, to mindless cat videos. The Internet is a procrastinator’s dream, but as of 2015, it is now a serious academic major.


At the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most esteemed colleges in the nation, is now offering the art of aimless web surfing as a focus of a newly introduced major! “Wasting Time on the Internet” is now offered to English majors and students on the English Creative Writing track for 2015. “Is this real? That’s awesome, it’s cool to see that colleges are now taking technology and the internet seriously and catering to today’s generation of tech savvy kids!” Kelly Fagan (11).


Course descriptions require students to “stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots and social media”. Aimless drifting is mandatory for this course. But, it is not all fun and games, students will be required to read critical texts by Betty Freidman, Raymond Williams, Guy Debord, John Cage, and others to help with their exploration of the long history of notorious time wasting.


Students’ grades are also based on turning in the raw materials of their record of time wasting, this includes, browser history, status updates on any type of social media, SMS messages and chat conversations, and they must turn this raw material into academic and “substantial works of literature”. So this course is not just mindless time wasting on the Internet, it is trying to help students to delve deeper into the human mind to see why we are so inclined to be drawn into the Internet and stay on for hours and hours at a time.


This new course at UPenn is run by the famous poet and professor, Kenneth Goldsmith, who is best known for his attempt to print out the entire Internet onto paper.


Professor Goldsmith is somewhat infamous for his eccentric courses. Some of his previous courses that he had taught include, “Uncreative Writing”, “Writing Through Art and Literature”, and “Robot Erotica”.  All sound like they would be in the same ball park as “Wasting Time on the Internet”.


So Mustangs, if you’re interested in the art of wasting time, you might want to consider UPenn and their newfound major. But remember to always remember your roots and never be too influenced by the things you find on the Internet. The Internet and technology is a harmless thing until we as a society give it the power to control us and take over our lives. So, be sure to use everything in moderation!