Wasting Time on the Internet

by katystreet

By Kenneth Goldsmith.

I stumbled across this book in Kinokuniya across from Town Hall in Sydney. It has an adorable picture of a cat on its cover and I picked it up, jokingly suggesting to Silas this is a book for him. But in the first pages Goldsmith won me over with his detailed description of a moment in which he wastes time on the internet and then questions what about those activities were wasteful, reflects on his experience as a poet to suggest that all this wasted time can result in strong human connections that he doesn’t see as worthless.

I bought it for myself.

Goldsmith actually spends much time on conceptual art and how the internet interacts with it, can be its subject, at times appears to be a precise reflection of earlier surrealist conceptual art movements except we the average users are mostly not artists, which was sometimes the point of the art. But I wanted him to reflect more on how the internet can connect us, why it is okay to miss a sunset to text with your friend, how browsing Facebook can be taken as productive, or in what ways the experiences in his class Wasting Time on the Internet became intensely intimate. There were parts of this, but I wanted more.