The mighty Internet. It has unquestionably changed life on this planet. I would wager that there has been no other single innovation that has impacted present generations as much as the simple idea of allowing computers to communicate with each other across the globe. Also, it allows myself and countless others to support ourselves and our families. All because computers can talk to other computers.
Anyone over 25-ish years old likely remembers pre-Internet life. Google was spelled “googol” and existed merely as a humble noun, not the mis-spelled noun/verb combo that we all know and love today. If you wanted to acquire new knowledge or information and lacked someone whom you could outright ask, your options were to either to crack open an encyclopedia or visit the library. Of course a visit to the library in those days involved a long walk in the snow that was oddly uphill both to and from the library. Barefoot. Shoes weren’t invented yet, either. Times were very odd in the pre-Internet days, kiddos!
Though I’d certainly give a shout-out to anyone who remembers playing Legend of the Red Dragon on a 2400 baud modem connected to a local area BBS back in the day, this post is actually not about the old days of the Internet. Rather, I’d like to discuss what people use the Internet for in the present day. We are speaking of a tool of immeasurable value. The Internet is phenomenal beyond words. As per my understanding, the Internet is made purely of magic and is responsible for not only the creation of gravity, but also magnets.
As human beings, one race sharing this planet, what do we choose to do with this most amazing technology? Mostly Facebook, apparently. Google, YouTube and Wikipedia are also high on the list of most-visited websites. Twitter, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay all round out the upper crust.
As for the most popular online activities, email is in the lead with “use a search engine” as a close follower. Get news, purchase a product and social networking round out the top 5.
Time is our most precious commodity. A lot of us spend a lot of time online. What are we receiving in exchange for this time? World news? Celebrity gossip? Perceived social acceptance? Products that we likely don’t actually need? …Profit? A level up in an online game? Eye strain, maybe? Epic collections of .mp3s or other media?
I love the Internet, likely you do as well. As with all beloved things, treat it appropriately. Consider your time, and how you spend it. Be sure you get a proper return on your investment, so to speak. Consider not only the quantity, but also the quality of the time you spend online. It is certainly not my place to discourage Internet usage, again it is my livelihood, but remain aware of the larger picture and the great, big wide world that isn’t on the web.