For some people, the Internet is the greatest entertainment medium that has ever come along. For others, it is the greatest business tool that man has ever known? Most of us probably sit somewhere in the middle of those two positions.
For me, I am somewhere in the middle, although certainly closer to the side of the Internet is a business tool. In my days of using the Internet, though, I have been on both extremes as well.
When I first got on the net, in the early ’90s, the Internet was mostly an entertainment medium for me. I used it a lot for educational purposes too, learning about things that I didn’t know much about. Later, as I learned that you could actually make money using the Internet, I shifted my activities almost 100% to using the Internet as a tool for earning an income. Today, I would say that I use the net about 80% for the purpose of making an income, and 20% for entertainment. Many of the things that I do to make money, though, I also find entertaining, which is a nice way to make a living. When you are doing something you enjoy, it’s like you are not even working!
I remember back in about 2003 or so. I had a friend from the US who came to visit here in Davao. I knew this fellow through the Internet, but for him, the Internet was 100% an entertainment medium. He played lots of games on the net, traded jokes and pictures with friends, and such. That was about all he did on the ‘net, although he spent many hours every day enjoying himself on the net.
At the time that he and his wife came to visit, my Internet Businesses were still rather young. I only had one employee at the time. My wife, Feyma, did a lot of legwork too. I spend most of the day on the Internet taking care of my businesses, improving my websites and such. When there was legwork to be done, Feyma did it along with my one employee at the time.
One morning, I was upstairs taking care of my work. Feyma and our visitors were downstairs having breakfast. My friend told Feyma:
I can’t believe that you let Bob just play on the computer all day long while you do the work. Bob should be ashamed of himself making you do all the work while he plays.
What my friend did not understand was that I was not playing. I was working. When I was on the Internet, I was not passing jokes, playing games and the like. I was working hard, making money. My friend is a blue collar worker, and he could not understand how it was possible to actually make money while sitting in front of a computer on the Internet. To him, I was being dishonest, because he could not fathom that I was actually doing the part of the job that made the money, while Feyma was merely taking care of the physical end of the business. Without me doing the computer there would be no money. Without Feyma doing the legwork, the orders would not keep flowing in.
I really felt insulted by my friend telling Feyma that she should not allow me to be lazy and just play all day long. But, after I had time to think it over, I realized that my friend simply could not understand what was going on.
Yes, what I do on the Internet is business. I don’t just play with the keyboard. You will never come to my office and find me playing Farmville on Facebook, or Mafia Wars. No, I don’t have anything against those who do that, I am sure they have other types of jobs and need an entertainment outlet in their lives, which the Internet provides for them. When I am in front of a computer, though, I am working. When I need an outlet for relaxation or entertainment, I do something else. I certainly don’t do it on a computer, because when I am sitting at my keyboard, I feel that I am working, and that’s not an outlet.
So, you see, the Internet can be a medium for play or for work. It depends on your personality, your knowledge, and your passion. There is nothing wrong with using the Internet for entertainment… but there is also nothing wrong with using the Internet for your business either. One thing, though… if you want to earn money from the net, you need to take what you do seriously, and give up the games and such while you build your Internet Empire.