At the last two jobs I’ve had, I was super busy. I barely had time to read the news, even though I was writing about it. Now that I’m on my own schedule and not under fluorescent lights, I still read the internet, but with less devotion than when I was waiting for my lunch break back in 2006.
The guy who ousted Lee Siegel as “sprezzatura,” the Lee Siegel enthusiast on TNR.com, was a commenter. Jhschwartz was really “reluctant lawyer” and “frustrated” writer Joseph H. Schwartz. The fact that this lawyer had enough time to destroy the career of Siegel speaks to the leisure of the computer age. The internet has made tasks easier to accomplish, but most companies hiring policies reflect the typewriter age. As the guy who did TMFTML once put it, “I’m actually curious as to what people did in offices before the Internet. My theory is that every job only requires about thirty minutes of hard work a day and the rest is bullshit.” The internet is full of information, information which is only interesting to people who are bored at work.
Right now, most office rats are living off the fat of the land and enjoying the internet in their spare work time. But media moguls and bloggers are engaged with their work, too engaged to relate to their audience. Most people reading their sites and inflating the value of other Web 2.0 creations are just killing time.
But now the economy sucks. Subprime mortages! Bear Sterns! More buzz words! So soon there will be layoffs, which is fair in an Adam Smith sense and unfair in a “Wild Pack Of Family Dogs” sense. (Come on, you know that Modest Mouse song.) Most people don’t do much at their job. At least that’s what my friends tell me over gchat as they keep themselves occupied.
But with layoffs, the remaining employees will have to do more, which shouldn’t be a problem with computers and the internet making everything faster. But these people will have less time to click on articles, watch YouTube clips or enjoy in depth blog posts about the weather. And that’s how Web 2.0 will crash.
I wouldn’t care except that the internet has become the last refuge for writers. And when that bubble bursts, our best option will be tanning salons, where we’ll be allowed to read all day and tan at a discount.