(Quick note:  I originally titled this “What Are Your Internet Go-Tos?” but “Go-Tos” looked so odd I started thinking about go-go dancers and toes, and decided that was too distracting and would detract from the integrity and solemnity of the piece.  So “Internet Mainstays” it is.)

Face it, we’re all internet-addicted now.  None of us can remember exactly what it is we did all day before we had the internet (we have nostalgic notions of public phone booths and cassette tapes, but it’s all kind of vague), and now that we do have it, we’re faced with a significant dilemma.  With only 24 hours in a day, many of which are wasted on things like sleeping, commuting, and “working,” there is only so much “me time” we have alone with our internet.

Now that I have less time in the day to spare than I have in the past, I’ve noticed that my daily visits to certain websites have been curtailed, and that every year or so the cycle will be modified to introduce new daily websites and discard outdated ones.  What I’m talking about is each person’s daily internet ritual, which I’m hoping is no insight into the soul because if it is, I may be a deeply average person and no one likes to think of themselves that way.

There are websites that I check once or twice a week (Salon) some once a month (Facebook), and some every six months or so (Gallery of the Absurd).  Um, I also look at important, enlightening things sometimes, but usually because it’s linked from a website I read regularly or someone’s emailed it to me.

But anyway, none of this is what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about your daily internet ritual that is completely ingrained in your routine, adapted and polished to fit your average weekday.  Here’s a (cough) hypothetical example of what yours might look like if you… were me:

8:00 am:  BBC Weather (sitting at kitchen table in undies, drinking a glass of milk and taking vitamins); quick glance at Gmail (mentally promise to respond to those emails later, mark them as unread,  feel mild panic that inbox unread emails now numbering 389); see if anyone’s commented on ButtercupPunch (meta-link!)

9:00 amGo Fug Yourself (eating breakfast yogurt while deleting vast quantities of spam, reading work emails)

9:07 amThe Onion (really savoring yogurt, as is okay to look at non-work websites if eating, and spent two minutes on spam already)

10:15 am:  Jezebel (little mid-morning break to catch up; man there are a lot of updates about abortion and models to wade through!)

11: 30CNN (very close to lunchtime, check to see what/who’s been blown up so far today in the world)

12:30: I Can Has Cheezburger (finally, lunchtime!  aka time for cat pictures); segue immediately into FailBlog (email boyfriend cat picture or picture of someone being crushed by a crane under an amusing sign, etc.)

12:38:  Review any of above websites that have been neglected thus far due to pressing work duties

2:00:  Jezebel, further website review

7:00 – BedtimeBest Week Ever, Jezebel, The AV Club (eating dinner, drinking glass of wine, checking various random websites in between)

Rinse.  Repeat.  Obviously, I’m not counting industry-related webpages I visit for work or television shows I watch online sporadically, but my hard-core daily schedule.  With the exception of CNN/BBC, I make such a point to be current with these sites that things like my upcoming week-long vacation to Turkey seriously screw up my schedule.  I need at least a day on my return to satisfy my (apparent) OCD and ensure that I’ve read every single post updated in my absence.

It’s hard to remember some of the former daily sites that have gone by the wayside, although Fark, Defamer, Gawker, The Gilded Moose, and Perez Hilton come to mind, all abandoned for various reasons.  I guess I just ran out of time.  Sitting down and typing this out has certainly given me pause – what the hell do I do all day?  And why don’t I have time to answer emails when I am evidently online, non-work-related, for five hours a day (twelve to thirteen if you do count office-time)?

I guess it will just have to remain a mystery because I have some websites to check before I can go to bed, and little time to ponder.  Analyze your own daily internet routines in the comments.