A help or a hindrance?
I have a number of dictionaries on my shelf, a hand's reach from the computer. There's an English-English, a few Hebrew-Hebrews, a thesaurus in English and one in Hebrew, and of course Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew dictionaries. I've also got a pocket translator, the long ago gift from the teachers' union which works quite well and is nice to keep close by. I use most of these with what I suppose is the expected frequency of anyone who writes quite a bit. My first choice is, however, the web. It's not that I'm fearful of pulling my shoulder by reaching over to the shelf, but rather that it's simply much easier to click on a word and have it come up either in a dictionary, thesaurus, or translator, depending on which tool I've clicked, than it is to have to flip through a book.
So in that respect, at least, being online can be a boon to productivity. As is also the case of having access to information (of one sort or another) on almost any topic of my choosing. But though these are benefits, there can also be drawbacks. In a word, being online can be a tremendous distraction.
Go to: 72 hours offline.