Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A Day-in-the-Life of an Internet User
I was reflecting on the way the internet has changed what I do each day. All our bills and financial records are accessed online. Our phone goes through an internet connection. I can work from my home office with access to data sets and library research tools. And I can renew my kids' library books with a few clicks of the mouse.
But, most of all, there are so many fun things to read and do online. I can spend a great deal of time at the computer each day (evidenced by my sore wrist), and often do. I have loved reading the FMH Day in the Life Series where readers chronicle a typical day. But, I wish the contributors would be more detailed in how they spend their online time. A snapshot of online usage, I think, provides an interesting view on what people are like, what they are interested in, and best of all gives me ideas about other sites that I can squander my time looking at. I'll go first:
Usually one of the first things I do after I stumble out of bed is to head to the office to check my email. This consists mostly of deleting a lot of spam--maybe it's time to have all my mail forwarded to my gmail account. It catches almost 100% of spam.
Then, I check into MyFamily. Both me and DH's extended families (parents and siblings) have a MyFamily site dating back 7 years. It has been such a great way to keep in touch with multiple family members spread across the world by being able to easily post news and pictures for everyone to see in a way that would simply not be possible otherwise.
During the mornings, I often spend a few minutes here and there checking into my favorite blogs using my new favorite internet tool, BlogLines. By setting up an account, I have been able to develop a personalized page that lists all the new posts on blogs, news sites, and anything else that I want to read on a regular basis. Anything that generates an RSS feed can easily be added with the click of a button. Right now, I am subscribing to 21 different feeds, and so this allows me to easily check what's going on with these websites without spending the time clicking around the internet to each one. My feeds include:
- A few sources of space and astronomy news that I wouldn't read at all if they weren't compiled for me by BlogLines
- Several bloggernacle blogs, including some big ones--Times and Seasons and By Common Consent-- and others that are focused on the intersection of Mormonism and women: Feminist Mormon Housewives, Exponent, Zelophehad's Daughters, and Mormon Mommy Wars. Additionally, there are a few individually authored blogs that I read, mostly associated with bloggernacle personalities, but I recently added a new friend's blog to my feeds.
- Book reviews from the New York Times and NPR, as well as Julie Smith's book blog. I have added several books to my must-read list from these reviews. (If anyone has any other good sources for book reviews, please spill it!)
- Current education news
- And also upcoming local events
My two favorite sources of news are the New York Times and the Washington Post, which I check into a few times a day. My favorite semi-regular indulgence is to spend 20 minutes doing the Washington Post online crossword after MJ has gone to kindergarten and T is down for his nap while sipping a diet coke.
I use MyCheckFree to pay all my bills electronically, and download info from my bank and credit card company. I also regularly use the yellow pages, google maps, and get all my ward phone numbers from the ward website. And I get all my church lesson materials online too. I often log into the local library website to see what we have checked out and to request books that I can pick up a few days later from the branch close to my house. Whatever did I do before the internet?
So, tell me, how you do spend your time online?