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“Hi, I’m __ and I am a wilfer” — aimless websurfing and its effect on your life

March 5, 2008
“Wilfer” stands for (roughly) “What Was I Looking For” and refers to the habit of getting distracted and lost online when you actually meant to find something specific. I do this constantly.
clipped from

Are you a wilfer, lost on the internet?

You are checking your emails when you start daydreaming about where to go on your summer holiday.

This reminds you to compare the cost of local gyms. Then you suddenly decide to look up venues for your birthday party.

You may think you are browsing the internet in a slightly absent-minded manner. You are, in fact, “wilfing”.
According to a survey for a financial website, almost seven in 10 internet users admit to the newly named habit.
The study of 2,400 people carried out by YouGov found more than a quarter of internet users wilf – a rough acronym of What Was I Looking For? – for two days every month.

Shopping is the online activity most likely to make users wilf. Men are more likely to admit to being wilfers than women. A third of the men questioned said the habit had damaged their relationship with a partner.

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