Actually, there will be nothing amazing here, and I am 100% certain that you will retain your ability to speak if you choose to finish reading this.
I have always liked the analogy that the internet is like a big city . In cities and the internet, there are places to shop, places play, and there places for entertainment. They both have spots where you definitely wouldn’t take your children, and ones where that are just right for the whole family. There are many people in both a city and the internet, some of them can be trusted, some of them you can’t. If someone is telling you they have a great deal for you on high end electronics in the back of their van, the alarm bells should be going off in your head. When a website shares a link to 25 “never before seen pictures”, the same bells should be ringing. The point is we have choices to make. There are as many distractions on the internet as there are in the real world, and it is up to each user to manage that.
The following is how I have the Internet gets broken down in my world.
Twitter, for me, used to be a relatively quiet place. When I followed less than 150 people or so, my twitter feed was pretty tame and easy to keep track of. Now that I follow close to 1000 people, its like the classroom where nobody raises their hand and everybody has something to say. Twitter can be chaotic at times…but it certainly isn’t boring.
Reddit, is my quiet zone. I can pick and choose what I want to concentrate on. Whether its music on vinyl, whisky, or hockey, I know I can spend time exploring the topic. (There is even a Reddit for edtech). Reddit is a form of organized chaos.
Facebook is for family and friends. Enough said…
Google is serious business. Its where I go for work, or school, or for directions! (Google is also helpful for fantasy football, but I digress) Google Plus has some very nice, quiet, communities. I can see myself spending more time there once I have finished my masters degree.
YouTube is for learning skills. I can’t even begin to list the things I learned by watching YouTube videos. I think building a cigarbox guitar was the most fun, and reading the diagnostic codes on an old Jeep was the most practical.
So, is it fair to ask if the Internet is a productivity tool or merely an endless series of distractions? The answer to that is up to each individual because where you go and what you do when you get there is up to you.