“Wasting Time on the Internet” – The Latest Creative Writing Course


The University of Pennsylvania is changing the way creative writing classes are approached next semester and the change is coming in the shape of something that we are all guilty of. The newest creative writing class at UP is going to allow students to do what students do best – waste time cruising around the internet.

There is a well-known stain attached to the amount of time we spend on the internet and course professor and renowned poet, Kenneth Goldsmith, wants to change this. He is more interested in what’s really going on inside the brains of students when all that “Googling”, “liking” and “redditing” is going on. Goldsmith wants to know how the minds of students work when they are given free reign to do whatever they want for three hours of classroom time.

Professor Goldsmith said. “I’m very tired of reading articles in the New York Times every week that makes us feel bad about spending so much time on the internet, about dividing our attention so many times. I think it’s complete bull**it (sic) that the internet is making us dumber. I think the internet is making us smarter. There’s this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age.”

Some may wonder what the point of this open range course style is and if it’s even worth it. It’s not like students aren’t going to be held accountable for all the time spent in class watching YouTube and taking Buzzfeed quizzes. They will still be required to turn in something that has come from their time with Goldberg. There’s a good chance that some great work will come from this as each student’s subconscious takes hold to and turns the seemingly mundane clicking in cyberspace into the extraordinary.

“We’re trying to wrench an artistic product out of the state of distraction that’s naturally created by talking on the phone with someone and surfing the internet at the same time, or by watching a video and chatting. That’s the desired state in the class – even half being there is too generous. I want their attention across tablets, phones, screens, music. I want it divided many, many times.”

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