‘Wasting time on the Internet’ is now an Ivy League class

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PHILADELPHIA — We spend so much of our lives staring at screens, whether it be a computer at work or smart phone when out and about. So, it may not be a surprise that college courses are looking into deeper genres of computer communication.

One of the newest classes at the University of Pennsylvania doesn’t shy away from that trend. It’s called “Wasting time on the Internet.”

Once a week, students will spend three hours only interacting through their computers. They’ll also “explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts,” according to the UPenn department of English.

The class description also states:

…”checking social media, watching cat videos, chatting, and shopping. What if these activities — clicking, SMSing, status-updating, and random surfing — were used as raw material for creating compelling and emotional works of literature? Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed? Could we reframe the internet as the greatest poem ever written?”

Professor Kenneth Goldsmith (Univ of Pennsylvania)

Professor Kenneth Goldsmith (Univ of Pennsylvania)

The course will be taught by Professor Kenneth Goldsmith, an esteemed poet and former radio host.

The course apparently fulfills an English course requirement for University of Pennsylvania students. “Distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory.”

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