Ever feel guilty about wasting too much time on the Internet? Think of it as a profound existential exploration for a higher purpose: course credit.
Students at the University of Pennsylvania will soon be able to get academic credit for taking a class that actually requires them to waste time online. The goal of the class, called "Wasting time on the Internet," is to take the experience of tweeting, online chatting and watching silly YouTube videos and turn it into a work of literature.
"Distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory," reads the course description.
Students in the class will be expected "to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs," according to the university's website, and to ponder questions like whether the Internet is actually the greatest poem ever written.
"I'm very tired of reading articles in the New York Times every week that make us feel bad about spending so much time on the internet, about dividing our attention so many times," Kenneth Goldsmith, a poet and professor who will be teaching the class, told VICE's Motherboard, adding that he thinks the Internet is making us smarter, not dumber as it is commonly considered.
"There's this new morality built around guilt and shame in the digital age," he said.
The course will be available this coming spring.