It took me quite a while to get used to using the Internet. We have had a computer in our house since the mid 1990s. The old style computers were huge , took up a lot of room and I found ours very daunting to use. I really did not like the Internet at first and it took me ages to remember my own email address.
However about five years ago we decided to do away with our big old computer and buy a laptop. For some reason I took to the laptop straight away and I have not been off it since. I enjoy entering competitions , I find loads online and this is what started giving me experience with the internet. I have also brought and sold things on Ebay , used cashback sites and written blogs.
The Internet is likely to be around for many years yet but I fear it is going to change.Many people just use it for their own social networking and all the new apps and technology seem to be about minimalising our internet use. Social networking is massive and is very good for the big networking sites but many users are losing interest in the smaller sites and forums. There is also a dark side to it with people being nasty to each other and causing trouble.
Nowadays the trend is to access the internet on your mobile or tablet and I do not have either of these. I suppose the idea of keeping up with technology is to move as fast as everyone else but we cannot all afford the latest gadgets.
Still for now I shall `plod` along on my ole laptop.
Do we need the internet???
WITH THE INTERNET:
We got Greedy...
The internet is a powerful thing. We all want world domination and we can have it at our fingers tips. Quite literally. We can do pretty much anything - buy a car, listen to music, looks at our friend's photo albums, watch a film, find a lover, write a review ;) With the right knowledge of coding and HTML, we can also create our own worlds. It's a scary thought when put like that.
We got Lazy...
The internet makes it easy to spend more time sat on our bums, and not getting the same daily exercise. Prime example of this; shopping. Nowadays, I don't see the need to go to the shops so much, if I think of something I want, I automatically go and have a look online. Saves time. With cashback sites, there is more incentive to abandon the high-streets. It's like we're steering ourselves away from exercise. Look at the supermarket shop - ok, it's not like going to the gym, but generally there is a lot of activity involved...if you walk there, even better. How many of us do online because we can't be bothered to go round a supermarket? I see both sides. Personally, when it comes to supermarkets, I prefer to go - and see in my hands what I'm buying. I've had bad experiences of supermarket shopping online, especially when your muesli gets swapped for cat litter!
We got Poorer...
So many times I've seen a DVD I fancy and thought "I'll just see how much that is online", then subsequently, gone online and bought it. Online shopping is too accessible. There was a time when I would have thought "next time I'm out, I'll look for this", thus prolonging my need and dampening my craving for whichever DVD I was after. The internet makes it too tempting to buy things. When you buy online and with plastic, it doesn't feel like real money is being spent - so psychologically, the impact on your finances doesn't feel so great - uh oh - dangerous territory! And of course, online we have review sites, which has a tendancy to impact my amazon wishlist!
We got Connected...
For some people, the internet is their lifeline - I have a friend who is pretty much housebound, but gets to do whatever he wants - chat to whoever, read, listen and watch whatever he wants - thanks to his fibre optic broadband. Without it, all he'd have is Jeremy Kyle - and no one wants that! More people are connected to a social network than ever before. Personally, I've found it invaluable. When I was travelling, I uploaded any photos of my whereabouts for all to see - instead of sending out mass emails. My friends and family knew I was safe and felt involved with what I was doing - I was connected. Communications are significantly better online - thanks to software like Skype, we can see our loved ones, even if they live on the other side of the world. Home doesn't have to feel so far away.
We got Love...
With online activity, comes online communities, with that comes new friends. For those lonely folk that need some loving, there is all sorts available - dating sites, hook up sites - sex and love on demand. If you need someone in your life, there is immediate access - it's another matter altogether if you're successful, but you can look.
WITHOUT THE INTERNET
We'd be Poorer...
Surely without the web to browse, there would be more competition over prices, on the high-street. That said, it could be argued that without online, the competitiveness of prices wouldn't be so great - because retailers could bump there prices up without much complaint. Internet and high-street have always battled, with the internet winning hands down virtually every time.
We'd be Active...
We'd have to get off our sofas and into the shops. We'd have to browse in a real place and interact with real people. We'd have to walk around a supermarket and get at the very least, a minimal amount of exercise. Consumer groups are saying that the internet is the prefered option for most people, when it comes to shopping. Clearly, this has a detrimental effect on our high-streets and every day, more and more shops are closing down.
We'd Still Be Connected...
Of course, if we didn't have the internet, we'd actually have to get off our backsides and go see people! The relationships we have would probably be more meaningful, and capture more sense of engagement and involvement. However, if we went away on a trip, or to live, we'd have to settle with telephone or writing letters. Home would feel far away.
We'd be Lonely...
Well, if you don't have any friends. Without the internet, it would be harder to find them. Sure, you can join local groups and clubs, attend groups from local advertising - but the hunt wouldn't be so immediate or easy without the internet to help and guide you. If you were sat in your little bedsit at 1'o'clock in the morning and wanted to chat with someone...the pubs would be closed, the shops would be shut, so you'd just have teletext - to find a phone number for some sort of chat forum...much easier online!
The internet has changed the way we live our lives. If we want to watch a film, or listen to a song - before we'd have to wait until we could buy it in a shop, or caught it on TV - but now we can do this at the click of a few buttons on iTunes...again, this accessibility to commercial goods is undoubtedly costing us money, however the ease at which it makes our lives can surely be a good thing, right?
Thanks for reading
© MarcoG 2012
In my opinion the internet is one of the best inventions ever. It has changed my life in so many ways and all of them are for the better. Whilst there are many reviews about the internet most of these tend to focus on specific website and the advantages and disadvantages of each. I'm just trying to illustrate how it has helped me.
So here is how the internet has changed me, in no particular order:
Keeping an eye on your finances has never been so easy. Pre online banking you had to go in to a local branch and request a mini statement. Or wait for the monthly bank statement to arrive in order to keep tabs on your bank account.
If you are lucky enough to be able to get to the branch, and let's face it many of us work miles from our bank and can not get to it, then it was possible to keep a daily check on your account. Otherwise, you are a few weeks behind.
I hate going to my local branch. Since I can only get there on Saturdays the queues are huge, the staff are inexperienced 'Saturday' students and they are more concerned with trying to sell you insurance or change your mortgage than actually do what you want.
Now I can access my account within 5 minutes, set up direct debits and standing orders, cancel direct debits and standing orders, make a payment, request a cheque book (does anyone still use these? (other than businesses)), view historic statements. The list is endless.
Whilst there are concerns over security I have not had any problems with unauthorised access to my account. I have a 10 digit number on the first screen, followed by 3 numbers from a 4 digit pin (theses are selected at random), followed by 3 characters from my password (which is 12 characters consisting of both alpha and numerics). There are thousands of permutations.
Whilst there have been scams where office cleaners have set up devices to trace passwords of office staff etc I must stress that I only ever access my online bank account on my private computer. I would NEVER use a shared computer in an internet café or one at work since I believe there is a real security risk here.
I have been the subject of bank fraud recently although this was to do with an ATM where my debit card was skimmed. Since I check my account almost daily I picked up the two dodgy transactions and was able to put a stop to further ones quickly. I was told that the perpetrators take out small amounts first and if all is OK they do the big one and go for it. If this was the case then I caught them at the small stage. If it weren't for internet banking I would not have found out about this fraud until my bank statement arrived or my account was totally stripped!
There are phising scams about and I frequently get emails from 'banks' saying my online access is in doubt and I have to follow a link and re-register. These only come from Egg, Halifax, Lloyds TSB and Barclays. I do not, and never have had have an account with these banks so I delete them immediately. It is common knowledge that the bank will never ask for your password in full so it still amazes me how people get caught out with these scams. It is also strange how I never get one of these phishing emails from my current bank.
It is annoying that if you lose your password or change it and can't remember it that to re-set it you have to go through the postal system which can take a couple of weeks, however, I would much prefer this than just being able to do it over the phone since this is another security risk.
When I first started driving I can remember spending hours on the phone calling loads of interest brokers and companies in order to get the best price. Every time I would have to give the same details and this took ages.
In addition the insurance companies would also send you your quote and then chase it up after a few days. This resulted in loads of calls from insurers that you were not going to use. A waste of everyones time.
Now it is possible to enter your details just once, press the button and be presented with loads of quotes all with your specific requirements. Thanks to comparison websites such as Confused.com, Comparethemarket.com etc this process is even easier and it is a god send.
No more time on the phone, no repeating details over and over again. Nothing. The only draw back is the insurance companies then continue to pepper you with emails selling policies. This problem is solved by setting up another email account which is used purely for insurance purposes.
The best thing is it is not only car insurance that can be purchased like this. All insurances from travel, motorcycle, pet, home/buildings/contents, payment protection income, life and critical illness, all of which I have. I'd hate to imagine how many hours I would have been on the phone for to arrange all of these! I can now see why people stuck to the same insurers pre the internet.
It is now possible to buy almost anything on the internet, form groceries to clothes to flowers. Just about anything and everything.
I hate shopping, with a passion. Whilst some like the hustle and bustle of the city I do not. Parking is expensive and a nightmare, walking to shops is a nightmare, trying things on is a nightmare, you get hassled by people carrying out surveys etc. I do not find it an enjoyable experience.
Internet shopping eliminates this. Now I can shop from the comfort of my home. I don't get to browse and I don't find things I wouldn't normally wear etc but I don't care. I am not a shoppaholic. I know what I want and where to find it so it is a case of a few clicks and.......... There we are. Job done.
I appreciate that you don't get to try the items on but if they don't fit you can always send them back or take them back to a branch of the shop if you need a replacement in a hurry.
I also appreciate that delivery can be an issue in that deliveries always occur when there's no-one at home and they require a signature. I'm lucky in that my local post office is only 3 miles away and I can always pick things up on the way home from work.
Nowadays the amount of online retailers is massive and it is still growing. All the shops I would visit to buy clothes have an online shop so it is ideal for me. If you like specialised shops then I appreciate that internet shopping may not be suitable for you.
I must admit that I do not food shop online on a regular basis. I did when I lived alone because I didn't enjoy it, but now I live with my other half I enjoy the weekly grocery shopping battle of the aisles!
I can see the advantage of online grocery shopping if you are unable to get to the supermarket, and it is something I think we will do in a few years time.
Online grocery shopping can take a while to sort out a favourites basket but once this is done then, providing you buy the same stuff week in week out then the process should be quite quick.
Online grocery shopping makes you stick to your list which is good for those on a budget. I find walking the aisles leads to the purchase of luxury items or items on a whim. This doesn't occur when doing the shopping online.
One disadvantage is that shopping online you may miss out on some cracking supermarket deals.
The internet is a great place to find discount vouchers for purchases from some shops. Through Mydiscountvouchers.com and the like you can get money off codes, free delivery codes etc. Whilst many do not work there are many that do and you can save a tidy sum.
A recent experience I had was purchasing a multi gym. Doing an internet search I found it available in many palces and the price varied between £352 - £795. What a variation! The internet had already made me a big saving.
The shops selling the item for £352 included Littlewoods and MarshallWard. The Littlewoods deal allowed me to buy now pay December. I could not find any voucher codes for this retailer. I found a £50 off coupon (for first time buyers only) through a voucher site for Marshallward. Sceptically I put in the code and it worked! £50 off so I got the item for £302. Bargain.
I have since learnt that Littlewoods and Marshallward are now one and the same, yet I managed to get £50 off Marshallward. How does that work?
Tip - always look for discount voucher codes. It is worth spending a bit of time and putting in a few 'dud' ones because, like me, you could always end up with a steal.
The internet allows you to tailor your own holiday. You can chose where you go, where you stay, where you fly from, the flight times etc. You can make the exact holiday you want instead of picking those that are almost right for you. This was unheard of previously since travel agents cannot offer this service, and many still cannot.
The flexibility is great and it is so easy to do. It can be daunting and if you are like me, there is always a worry in the back of your mind that something could go wrong in organising a full package holiday yourself.
My biggest fear is that the taxi I had booked will not be at the airport the otherside and we would be faffing around. Stupid I know, how easy is it to grab another taxi at an airport (although I have been told that you need to negotiate the price in advance because you could get stung!). Luckily I have had no problems (touch wood) but if it does go wrong, there are always ways of sorting it out.
I always consult the internet before buying anything that is not a consumable item. There are sites, such as Dooyoo and Ciao, that have owners views on the products.
I always take these with a pinch of salt because I find that some people will give the product a really bad review if they have had a problem with theirs or a really good review if everything went smoothly. It is important to get an overall balanced view detailing the good and the bad points to make an informed decision.
This product research can also point out alternatives that maybe more suitable for your needs as well as the best (and cheapest?) places to source the products and if there are any current deals on them.
Writing reviews/Rating reviews
Whilst I am not that good at it, I do enjoy writing about products I have bought and experiences I have had.
In addition I enjoy reading about products others have bought and experiences that others have had.
Through sites such as Dooyoo and Ciao, and many others (and the list is growing) it is possible to do this.
I have to admit that Dooyoo is my current favourite (and I will be putting this review on Ciao) because of the speed it works. Ciao is really slow and whilst I used to browse on it I now only use it for specific product research. Dooyoo is much quicker and I now browse and read things I would not normally read.
As a result I have found some really good stuff and found some really talented writers out there.
Finding old friends
I sometimes find myself thinking back to my school days and wondering how class mates and other acquaintances turned out and what they are doing now.
If someone moved away then pre internet it would be really difficult to get in touch with them again for a catch up, unless you were really lucky.
Now it is really easy through websites such as Friends Re-united and Facebook, both of which have big followings.
Friends Re-United kicked it all off but it was slow and cumbersome. Whilst it was free to register if anyone sent you a message then you had to pay £5 to gain access to read it!! Was it worth it? In some instances I'd say yes but in others no way. Then there came Facebook.....
Facebook is totally free and everyone seems to be using it. I don't like all the groups, the Super wall, games etc that the programme offers and I do not use it to its full potential. I actually find these features ridiculous and stupid (although I appreciate many people enjoy using them). I also ensure that my profile maintains the bear minimum since your profile is open for almost anyone to have a look at. Facebook is not private and I do get friend requests from people I have never heard of and people who I used to go to school/college/work with whom I never used to speak to! I think many see it as a good thing to have the most friends!
Good or bad, love it or hate it I have managed to catch up with many old chums through both sites. I have also managed to make new friends on Facebook as well.
This would not have happened pre internet.
There are traditionalists who believe that the internet is full of out of date information. What a stupid comment. Information is out of date as soon as it is released, whether it is verbal, published in ink or published electronically.
I wish I had access to the internet when I was studying at school and college. It was available but it was still relatively new. Broadband was not invented and the 56K dial up was only available in specific places - it was not available in my village. 56K was also so slow and tied up the telephone lines.
Oh, how times have changed. I actually find myself looking for information more than ever. I have always had an inquisitive mind but I never bothered researching. Now I just "google" it.
If I have a query I look it up. I was on a plane going down the run way and thought to myself "I wonder what speed we will need to achieve to get the lift required to take off". When I got to the hotel the first thing I did was jump on the internet and Google it. Sad I know but it is a great way of knowing stupid facts which are sometimes useful in pub quizzes.
A 'meeting place' where individuals can come together and discuss specific products, hobbies and past times is a fantastic idea.
Being a keen cyclist I am an avid fan of BikeRadar.Com. The best part of this site is the user forums. From this you can obtain information about new products, the best tools to buy, the best clothing etc. In addition you can ask for technical advice, training advice and how to set up and maintain your bike. Some of this information is priceless.
It has increased my enjoyment of cycling as I now know how to maintain my bike properly and how to tinker with it to get the best out of it. Without this information I would have left my bike alone and taken it to the bike shop for its servicing - which can be quite expensive.
The above is just a sample of how the internet has changed my life. It is a fantastic tool that I think we would all be lost without and as it grows it gets better and better and more and more useful.
I appreciate that the internet has destroyed some businesses such as small shops, insurance brokers etc and has probably contributed to the closure of bank branches but it is a dog eat dog world where technology changes and people have to move with the times or they will fail to exist.
It may be a bit of a harsh attitude but I think it is to the benefit of the consumer. It has kept prices down (even leading to price reductions in some instances) and given us the flexibility to shop around for the best deal. It has increased the amount of options open to us and changed the way in which we act.
Vive la Internet!!!!
I pretty much liked things the way they were, but technology is here it's improving all the time, and if I true to myself a lot of it really interests me. Everything seems to be obsolete before it gets much of a chance, but this cannot be said of the Internet.
I believe the main benefit of the net is that it does or can bring families who are thousands of miles apart closer. They can send and receive pictures by e-mail or have specialized web sites where these treasures can be stored and browsed at any time. It also means that people can use such miracles as yahoo and MSN to keep in touch and have net meetings. When you think that not so long ago all we had was the phone which at the time was a god send, we have come a long long way.
There are many instances where I've needed to find out some specific piece of information. In the past this would have involved looking up reference books and perhaps even a trip to a few libraries, now a google search will more than often render a result which will suffice the question. Or you can just google and surf and find all kinds of useful and not so useful information.
I used to have to fill in loads of direct debits and the like and organise trips to the bank to keep my finance's in check now I simply log into my online bank account and can transfer and sort out my money within the comfort of my living room. This can result in the saving of a lot of time and in some instances actually save me a few bob too.
When Im bored I can surf a few game sites and pass away a few weary hours playing various types of games. Alternatively I can boot up a snooker games I have as does my brother in law and we can have a game of virtual snooker amazing. I can also use the power of the web to write reviews and inform people hopefully of my views on certain products, and perhaps help them a little in their decision making. Doing this has the added benefit of also earning me a few bob as well.
Instead of traipsing to the music shop to get my next favourite piece of music I once again simply log in and buy it online, it is then stored on my computer to be transferred to and from wherever I decide. I am then left with a substantial music catalogue right on my hard drive.
Of course the downside to all this is that to do it Im stuck in the house and not out socialising as perhaps I might have been. Then when I do want to socialise I find that a friend of friends are tied up doing something on their computer on the net so it is ages before we ever meet up again. In this instance it is clear that this is a very negative side to the net, so in order for this negative to be limited one must use a certain amount of restraint whilst using the net in order to balance up one social activities. Some find this harder and harder to do as there becomes more and more to do on the net and they withdraw into their own little internet world. This is obviously not a good thing, but the choice at the end of the day is theirs.
All in all I do believe the internet is a good thing it has had a serious impact but many find it to complex and seldom use it whilst others are hooked. It is still relatively new so I guess we will have to wait a bit longer to actually see how serious the effects will turn out to be. Whatever the out come I think it is here to stay so perhaps some kind of control is the best option, but that is perhaps infringing on peoples right to do as they wish with their spare time.
Did you know that there are about 6.5 billion people in the world today and out of those people well over 1 billion use the internet regularly? And did you know that over 35% of those users are in Asia, Europe (including us in the UK of course) makes up nearly 29% of the total and North America amounts to 21.5%? Although Africa only has 3% of its population using the internet; this is actually well over 600% increase in users from 2000 2006 and North America has only had about 114% rise over that same period (figures taken from internetworldstats.com).
If you look at statistics.gov.uk you will find that around 57% of households in the UK now have access to the net (which is equivalent to 13.9 million households) and amounts to an increase of 26% since 2002.
Its all very well quoting the above figures but what do they really mean? I can only give my opinion and analysis here and I hope it makes you think a bit more about what the internet has meant to us over the years.
Ive been using the internet for about 8 years regularly, i.e. Ive had internet available at home for my own use. Prior to that I had used it from work a bit but not enough to know how invaluable a resource it was going to become for me and millions (or should I say billions of others) over time.
Only the other day (4th December 2006) the news said that people will be spending £183 million on cyber shopping in one day alone which is 40% more than last years peak of £131 million. Thats £183 million today alone that people would have spent in the high street had the internet not been available. Why do people use the internet for shopping? This might seem like it applies only at this time of year when people are going mad doing their Christmas shopping but to many it applies all year round.
1. They dont have to leave their house to traipse around stores fighting through crowds of people also out doing their shopping.
2. They dont have to spend the time travelling to and from the shops to do the shopping let alone the cost of petrol and parking if theyre driving or cost of public transport and then the inconvenience of having to carry all their shopping home.
3. People, in general, have got over the fear of buying online; its safer and more secure than ever with credit card encryption facilities offered by most online retailers.
4. Many online retailers offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount.
5. There are often better bargains to be had by buying online as its cutting out the middle man, i.e. the actual cost of employing people to work in a store and having to pay rent, bills and business taxes for the premises. Many retailers who have stores offer incentives such as online price only and Ive often purchased something online which was a good 10% or more cheaper than in the store itself.
Then again you have many shoppers who dont want to use the internet for shopping namely:
1. Those that enjoy the hustle and bustle of live shopping and the interaction of meeting like minded people whilst out shopping
2. Those that want to touch or feel their product before buying it, such as buying a cashmere sweater, you might want to feel how soft it is against your skin before deciding to purchase it.
3. Those that dont like using credit cards and want to use cash to pay for their goods rather than get into debt by using credit cards or even lose track of what theyve spent by using a debit card which takes money straight out of your current account.
Whatever the pros and cons, no one can deny that internet shopping is here to stay and theres no getting away from it.
Thats just one aspect of the internet though. What about the various other aspects?
INTERNET DATING SITES
Lets take internet dating sites? I know so many dozens of people whove met their partners online through dating sites, some successfully who got married and are having or have had kids and some whove gone through the same heartache and distress after a split up having met someone who was married and pretended they were single. This could have also happened had they met someone in a bar or club or traditional dating agency.
Many people are still embarrassed to admit they met their partner online as if theres a stigma attached to it - if you met him/her online it means youre too ugly to go out and meet people in real life. Well I beg to differ. I met my 2nd (and last!!) husband through an online introduction site and were happy together nearly 5 years later. If I was that ugly he would have met me once and then done a runner would he not? As far as Im concerned hes the best thing since sliced bread, and hes much sexier than any other guy Ive ever dated (or been married to, for that matter) as well as being the most romantic and affectionate and GROWN UP. Also from our point of view, getting to know each other online meant we could communicate via email and phone initially getting to know each others tastes before deciding to meet in person. Of course, people can make up things about themselves but this wasnt the case with my husband and me.
One other area of meeting people on the internet which I think is a helpful impact on society is that people who are painfully shy can meet like minded people in forums or chat rooms. I know several people who met their current partners through chatting online and these are people who never ventured out to bars or clubs in the past (and still dont) as they were too shy to meet people this way. Now they seem really happy with people with similar personalities to them.
Ive never been the type to be chatted up in bars or clubs; people are sometimes too drunk or stoned even to remember that they had even chat you up, let alone your name or that they took your phone number, so that method of meeting potential partners has never been an option for me. Online dating - long may it survive!
Lets look at help with education via the internet. There are some aspects of online education which I really disagree with. I get very annoyed when I see online ads for people advertising to write dissertations for peoples degrees for £500 or £1,000! What is that all about? As far as Im concerned, if you bought any work online and submitted it as your own to pass your degree you are not worthy of that degree, I dont care what the excuse is. When it comes to providing information for young people at school or college or university to assist them with their studies then I think the internet is invaluable. Being able to look up the meaning of words and get help with translations. There is just so much information available on the net for teachers to help them with planning lessons and giving ideas for different ways to generate enthusiasm from students to assist them to learn in different ways that I can imagine the teaching profession would sorely miss the internet if it was no longer around. I, myself, have worked with many ESOL tutors who found masses of free resources available all over the net to help them in devising lesson plans and even giving advice on how to write a good lesson plan.
What would many of us do without consumer opinion sites such as the one youre reading from right this moment? I, for one, often read up about products or services written by general consumers like myself to help me make decisions to buy. Im sure there are many people whove saved a lot of money and headache by researching products online and have been put off spending money on a product or service that doesnt deliver as it was intended to.
People looking for jobs who have access to the net can easily apply for jobs online rather than traipse around to dozens of agencies wearing out their shoe leather handing out CVs only to be told that they have to submit their CV online or via email. I hate registering with agencies to look for work as going into the average agency means being treated not so favourably and only as a candidate number who might potentially get the consultant a fee if they place you. Online recruitment sites are free for candidates to register with (generally) and you can apply for so many jobs in a much shorter space of time.
Even doing research on potential companies you might want to go and work for is much easier now you can just type in their website name and read all about them. In the olden days one would have to try to get hold of company literature to find out about the company or something just as tedious and long-winded. There are literally 1000s of job sites tailored for pretty much all industries and you can even look up recruitment agencies to apply to if your chosen job field doesnt have many jobs advertised online. For example, youre a silver service waiter and are looking for a new job, just go to a search engine such as google.com and type in silver service jobs, hit the UK option and press enter and hey presto, you have over 1,000,000 results to look through. Obviously theyre not all going to be of relevance but you can pick and choose the ones that are most suited to your query. Another example, I typed in jobs for HGV drivers and the query returned over 250,000 with the most relevant at the top. Gosh Im even impressed myself with that level of results even though Ive always been a fan of the internet!
From the point of view as someone involved in recruitment at work, the internet has saved us so much money over the last few years. Being able to place job adverts online means your vacancies can be reached by a much wider audience compared to paying for an advert in a local or national paper (depending on which websites you use). Receiving CVs by email also saves time and is more cost effective than dozens of CVs coming through by fax (costing us and the candidate money) or by post (costing candidates money).
Think of how many businesses are making profits and are still able to offer down to earth prices by running internet only stores? They have no overheads to pay for premises, bills, less staff needed - yes, the internet might have cut down on some jobs for humans but there will always be jobs for us mere mortals.
Do you know that you can research most ailments on the internet? You can type in your description of your ailment, say: common cold, typhoid, herpes (!!!), gout, cancer, etc, and search engines will give you back 1000s of results on pretty much any illness you can think of. The medical profession are apparently being encouraged to look up patients symptoms on the internet to help them with diagnosis. This worries me a bit, after all, what did the medics spend all that time at medical school for if any member of the public can look up symptoms and diagnose their own illnesses? Its good that people can go look up causes and potential ways to help them recover from something by looking it up on the net but Im quite concerned that too much information like this is only fodder for some hypochondriacs to get over-excited and start thinking their headache is a brain tumour or a common cold is pneumonia! I would also be concerned about the fact that anyone can create a website and start doling out medical advice and people might take this advice as gospel without checking with their GPs! One area to be quite wary of, our health is not something to be messed with.
Ive talked a lot about what I feel are the advantages but there are also pitfalls when it comes to using the internet:
What about all those predators out there trying to lure kids into giving out personal information just so that they can harm them?
What about those con artists out there trying to phish for personal information about our bank accounts so they can rob us blind?
What about the fact that kids spend so much more time online playing games when they could be outside playing in the street with the neighbours kids or in the local park?
What about all those people online offering services for students such as writing their dissertations for them for a cost? Historically people wrote their own dissertations for their degrees and it took a lot of hard work but at least it was their own work. How do we know how many students are taking up these offers for someone else to do the hard work for them?
HOW THE INTERNET HAS BENEFITED ME PERSONALLY
I wanted to finish off by summarising how Ive personally benefited from using the internet over the years.
Well, the biggest thing I have to thank the internet for is, of course, introducing me to my husband! He is one of the best (if not the best) things to ever have happened to me.
I communicate much more with my friends and relatives now; friends who got a phone call maybe once a month or less now hear from me regularly by email and I hear from them too. Relatives outside of the UK, who barely got a written letter by post from me once or twice a year in the past can contact me by email and vice versa and I have built up stronger relationships with cousins (and friends) abroad (those that I want to anyway) and I get to see photos of them and their families regularly and find out how theyre doing at work and how the kids are or how their studies are going.
Online banking is a godsend for me. I only ever go to a bank now if I have to pay in a cheque and even then I just fill out a deposit form and stick it through the slot provided, no more waiting in queues for me on a regular basis. All my bills are paid online, money transferred between accounts as and when I want to just at the click of a few buttons, what a wonderful facility!
I can research any product I am thinking of buying by checking out reviews sites such as this one and hopefully get constructive feedback online which otherwise I would not have known about.
Im one of those people who doesnt particularly like shopping in crowded shops so I can be bashed in the ankles by pushchairs or shopping trolleys by over zealous shoppers - online shopping yet another godsend for me!
Overall the internet gets a big thumbs up for me. Its benefit to society is unlimited as long as it is used sensibly and legally.
(Ok so I caved and went for the naughty review title to get people in to read this, sue me!)
As a twelve year old myself, the internet has radically changed my life. Whereas people would once have had to go to a public or school library to research, the internet, search engines and the like have most definitely revolutionised our lives. A virtual databank, the internet, in my opinion, is absolutely amazing.
Obviously, there are many downsides to the internet which are visible to almost anyone - 'hacking' data, credit card fraud and such illegal matters, but most networks are monitored by some kind of admin or moderator. As to many things, there are both a good side and a bad side to the internet, and both sides are very visible. Online pornography is easily put in view of those who should not see such material, and peer to peer networks have often stolen material and shared it for free to everyone. Although this is a good thing for those who would like to save money, the record companies are losing out from this, which in my opinion is not right.
But restriction from such adult material can often be a bad thing - from past experience, researching a topic whilst on a school network can be very difficult because of over sensitive filters. Obviously, I prefer not to see incredibly mature content, but filters can protect users against truly useful material because of minor things, such as banner advertisements, or in some cases, actual quotes from historical sources. It is often hard to avoid being biased because many websites which promote the less popular views are filtered. This can make getting good grades on research very difficult.
As for the point about many things in our everyday lives being broadcasted to billions of people, surely we do not partake in any public activities which are in any way wrong? It is a little unnerving to think that we are being watched, but I do not believe that this is very worrying at all. In fact, it can provide evidence for cases such as court hearings and other situations of the same sort.
I believe it is only in cases of real obsession that such a matter should be seen as a remotely bad thing.
And you can already see the veins throbbing, neck chords bulging and the eyes straining from everyones sockets. Even a simple statement like this can elicit the strongest of reactions from the Internet user (especially on Dooyoo). There's no doubt the advent of the World Wide Web has impacted on just about every aspect of life. From its humble beginnings in the early 70's, the Net now sweeps across the globe and is used for everything from ordering groceries from Tesco to spreading terrorist propaganda.
In its most innocuous form, the WWW is a basic ordering mechanism that allows the user to arrange for their weekly shop to be delivered to their home. Allowing for substituted items, errors and a delivery charge, folks in remote parts particularly appreciate the ability to order their items from home. This has become a Godsend in places like Scotland where the nearest supermarket may be up to 50 miles away in some parts.
Likewise, in a broader consumer sense, the Internet has become a significant resource as more and more folks download their music, watch movies and research family history. Music has become so accessible now that download sales exceed the more conventional purchasing methods. The Arctic Monkeys are just one example of how a band has created itself in Cyberspace before being exploited in the mainstream via the media.
It looks like reading habits may be changed forever soon too. With the technology now available to download books onto a reading tablet that only uses battery life when the equivalent of a page is turned then maybe the conventional, hand held book could be doomed in years to come. Buying and downloading up to 25 books at a time may become commonplace with readers having choice and access never before dreamed of (except in some Japanese laboratory somewhere).
Dating and meeting partners now routinely takes place via the Internet. An explosion of dating agencies on the Web has made meeting somebody easier than ever. Of course, this has its dangers too as there are some strange people out there. Ive first hand experience of this as a good friend of mine has just witnessed the birth of his first grandchild. His daughter met her husband over the Internet. He eventually moved over here from Detroit to marry her only last year and they seem as happy as anyone else I know.
I can still vividly recall returning from New York last year and sitting next to a young girl who was travelling to London all the way from San Francisco. She was meeting her boyfriend for the first time in the flesh and very nervous she was too. We chatted away for what seemed hours in a deliberate ploy to take her mind of the impending rendezvous. She kept looking at the flight map that plotted the flight path on a big screen at the front of our particular section of the plane. As we got closer and closer to Heathrow, she got more and more pensive and kept popping in and out of the toilet. The thing was, she was expecting him to propose marriage to her. Bearing in mind that shed only ever seen or spoken to him online, this was a hell of a commitment in my book but what do I know these days?
The Net with its multitude of chat rooms and forums seems to break down the more conventional social barriers. Its as though all the usual hang-ups disappear and folks feel free to say whatever they like; often not what they would say in real life. My daughter is possibly typical of the new wave of Internet savvy teenagers. Having now designed and established at least 5 of her own websites, a regular visitor to chatrooms including MSN and some school-orientated ones, she is more PC aware than ever I was or probably ever will be. I suspect that she will be like many of her generation and eventually meet her future partner online.
In its most sinister form, the Net has seen some of the most bizarre happenings that anyone can imagine. There was the case of the real-life Hannibal Lecter. Who can forget the case of Armin Meiwes, a computer repairman who had cut up and consumed a man he had met via the Internet? Meiwes had advertised on the Internet for a well-built male prepared to be slaughtered and then consumed. He wanted a slim, blond and victim, 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, answered the advert in March 2001. Meiwes took Brandes back to his home in Rotenburg, where the victim agreed to have his penis cut off, which Meiwes then flambéed and served up to eat together. Meiwes then stabbed the victim repeatedly in the neck and dissected the corpse. This was all apparently with consent right up until the last few moments!
You would like to think that this was an extreme example of where the Internet can go wrong but, sadly, there are numerous other instances of the WWW reflecting the more grisly aspects of human life. When it comes to blogging (a web log i.e. an online diary), folks writing their own online journals seem to lose all grasp on reality and post their innermost thoughts for the world to read. There was the recent case in Japan of a teenage girl who hated her mother. Having meticulously planned to poison her, she duly did and wrote about it in her blog. Within a few days, the police arrived having been tipped off by a reader. She was arrested and tried for her crime!
The Internet has changed the face of fundamentalists who have a wonderful opportunity to call the world to arms for their cause. Its no secret that Muslim extremists publish the own political ideology online whilst detailed manuals on how to make bombs and other weapons are freely available. Armed groups in places like Iraq parade their prisoners in front of cameras and within hours the material is available on a spiders web of Internet sites. This switch to psychological terror is incredibly powerful, bringing the plight of bound and gagged victims right into the very front room of millions of homes across the world. Not only is the exposure transmitted online but mainstream media then amplify the effect by including the material in peak time news bulletins. Maybe there is a case to take the oxygen out of issues like this but then you see the whole debate this week around the issue of freedom of speech and the right of the press to publish cartoons even if they offend some in religious circles and you see how circular the whole debate can be.
In summary, the advent of the Internet over the last 3 decades has been the most wide ranging event to hit the world in a long time. The applications that will benefit society as a whole are numerous. The WWW has forever changed how we meet, think, shop and has made the planet a much smaller place. The Net is also an insidious place too with just as many applications available for bad and evil doing in general. Ultimately, the Internet reflects us as we are, whether good, bad or indifferent. Its as useful as we want to make it and as dangerous as we dare.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. I certainly will as Im one year older today :O)
Hi peeps, sorry your old chum Deano hasn't been around for a while but I got a bit fed up with the whole online thing a while back and decided to get myself a real life. After several big hiccups with Ciao over various well documented bust ups I decided that enough was enough and I wrote an opinion which aired my whole feelings for Ciao, the people who run it and some of the people who think that they own the site simply because of their status. This intentionally ended my two year stay with Ciao and even my non problematic account on Dooyoo has taken up little thought space in my mind either. To be honest, when I first set up on the internet, I was overwhelmed by the instant friendships and rewarding community programs on offer, I thought the whole thing was great and in some ways, I suppose it still can be. The internet though and the disguised social face it wears has a terrible side to it which far overshadows all its good points. Take MSN Messenger for instance, this hip and fashionable chat room consists of some varied people to say the least. There are the few people who use it simply to make new friends and have a good time but these sorts are few and far between. Then there are the war mongers, people who are going through troubled times at home, they are either having marital problems or they are lonely and feel unloved or they are simply people that in real life nobody likes and they feel the need to hurt others to make themselves feel socially accepted. These sorts of people seem to spend a majority of their lives sitting in front of a computer screen and either sniffing out lucrative shag partners who they can entice into a meeting which ends up in a full blown cheap nasty sex session in which at least one person eventually gets very badly hurt. Some of these people even form small private consortiums to slag off and emotionally bully other folks who they dislike. Gaining as many 'friends'
as possible and then swooping down together on one unsuspecting victim. I know of many cases where people have used MSN simply to plan attacks on certain people for no valid reason than to entertain sad acts and give these small groups of people something to talk about on their next chat session. The social aspect of MSN Messenger is one of hate, disregard for any one persons feelings and total and utter contempt. The community based web sites such as Ciao and Dooyoo do seem to be a better idea on the whole as at least they can be regulated to an extent. Giving most people a little bit more security when trying to make friends. These sites also have sister sites set up independently for chat to take place, such as Chatterweb, Yahoo groups and Tooyoo. These seem to be a blend of both the ability to slate and bully certain individuals but with the bonus of a regulator who can stop and banish anything which gets too nasty. Then you have the basic chat rooms which tend to publicly breed pedophiles and cause families so much pain and anguish when members of their own clan are sucked in. This whole opinion may seem a little one sided and a touch nasty but I just think the whole internet culture is an evil disease which needs seeing to. The net simply causes more pain that it is worth and needs to be severely looked at on a global level. There just doesn't seem to be enough niceness involved and it is always the genuine people who are affected. The only stories that seem to surface any more involve, pedophiles, thieves, war mongering, and bitchiness. Whatever happened to the wonderful friendly place I used to know a few years back? People spend way too much time sitting at a computer desk instead of making efforts with their own lives simply because it is easier to do so. I used to spend hours on the net but I am rarely on for little over 15 minutes at a time anymore. I may pop on
as now for an hour or two, on occasion but the shine and glimmer of it all has long since gone for me. Not everyone who uses the net are bad people but most of them are easily sucked in (as I was) by the nasty breed who thrive on here. The question to ask yourselves is this, 'Is your life really that empty that you need to be on here four and five hours a day?' Shouldn't you all be making a little more effort with your own families, children and lives? Your real social life can't be that bad and if it is, then hurting other people online isn't the way forward. Sorry for the depressing nag but if no one else is gonna say it out loud then why shouldn't I be the one to do so. Take care yall, and be nice to each other, life can be so much simpler without having to RELY on the internet. Deano!
Almost five years ago, I discovered the internet and it actually opened up a whole new world for me. For the most part the internet has been a life line for me that I would not have had without it. Back in 1999 I was living in circumstances that were not good, an abusive relationship. I was pretty much unable to leave my home other than to go to work and bearing in mind that my then partner worked in the same place as me so I had no escape from the abuse in work. At home however he had decided to connect the computer to the internet. It was there that I made the friends that I felt safe to talk to about my problems and there that I found the support and encouragement to get out of this relationship before it was too late for me. I even met my now husband who happened to live in a totally different country from me without the internet I would never in a million years have met him and I would not be where I am today, in a healthy loving relationship. The internet now serves as another life line for me, living in a different country I find myself at times missing my home land, but a click of a button and I can read the news in my own language I can send an email to my family, and on my nieces and nephews birthdays I can order their gifts online and feel secure that their gifts will get to them on time for their birthday, of course there is always a risk of things not arriving when I order them and fraud on the internet is a concern, but then on the other hand there are sites like dooyoo around where me as a consumer can go and get other peoples recommendations and make a more informed decisions on what companies I use or do not use. And I speak from experience there, I used some companies in the begining that did not deliver the goods and I had to fight with them to get the money back or get them delivered, but now days I have found myself a good selection of shops online that for the most part I have only positive experiences w
ith. The internet is as much a part of my daily life as getting up in the morning and having a cup of coffee, yes I could live without my coffee in the morning but I would miss it if I did not have it there. I want to know what the weather is doing I go and check it out on line, I want to buy a gift for my husband, I search the internet for the best recommendations and prices before going to the shops to buy it. I want to surprise a friend and remind them I am thinking of them, I go online and send an ecard. I want to talk to my family who are miles apart I can use my instant chat messenger. I understand that the internet can mean that some people become more and more cut off from everyday life, instead of walking around a supermarket they go online order their goods have it delivered and have not had to leave the house and have not spoken to a person face to face all day, but look around the world at modern technologies and progressions and some people can take them to an extreme where it takes over their whole lives, many people watch too many hours of tv. Plan their day around the tv schedule. Some people will of course and do take the internet to an extreme that cuts them off from the outside world. But for the most part the internet I believe is a positive tool for the everyday home. Yes the internet is flooded with sites that are questionable, that we do not want our kids to see etc etc.... again no different to tv and videos and dvds, the market there is flooded with programs I would not want my step children to see, how do I deal with that, I monitor their tv watching. I know if a program is appropriate for their age to watch etc etc. That is the same with the time they spend on the internet, we are aware of what sites they are viewing. And again there is plenty of software and applications out there that as a parent you can use to protect your children from viewing the sites you do not want them to view. The kids inte
rnet time is monitered too in the sense that if they were spending hours a day on the computer surfing the net then we would be worried the kids have a healthy balance of school time, being out in the nature, going to the shops, being at home resting or reading a book or playing a board game with the whole family. So therefore the internet is an added tool in the childrens lives that like tv is monitered by responsible parenting. Again of course there are the cases where parents miss out or are not responsible in what their children watch or view on the net but is that any different that parents failing to be aware of what their kids are watching on video etc.... but does that mean that the internet should be attacked and totally blamed. Not much in life is certain or garanteed and their are dangers in most things that we do avoidable and unavoidable, but I do not think that means that we should stop doing these things or that these things are to blame them for everything, I think we then learn from the dangers, we take care to protect ourselves and others from them, well that is the same for the internet at least in my belief. The internet from my point of view has benifited me as a member of society much more than it has hindered me. I realise that this is not the case for everyone but for the most part I believe that the internet is a good thing.
Like Tv,the telephone,the Internet is a very useful tool. Can also enhance our lives,by providing contact with friends at home and abroad. The other Evening I was having a three way conversation with a friend in Canada ,who introduced me to a friend in Italy,that is really something isnt it, 3 people of different countries having a conversation? This was on MSN messenger,I am in regular touch with the U.S. and Canada ,through this service .My friends share thoughts they often make me laugh out loud,cant be bad in this stress filled world.We also share deep thoughts ,and our news. E mail is another wonder ,sharing our experiences ,I share my poetry. Also I love the greeting card sites,some of my fellow dooyooers have recieved my cards. One of my favourite sites is Agape cards,these sites also have music ,and poetry. It makes my day if I recieve one ,there are about 50 major card sites and most are free. Dooyoo has also enhanced my life,giving me something to worthwhile to spend my time on ,and it does work like a Community,and we do help one another,we probably help people we will never meet. Societal impact: if used for good okay. I agree with sidneygee though that the Internet is a thief of time,so has to be kept in its place ,and I think you need to work out how long you are going to spend and try and stick to it .I am a slow typer so it can be agonising ,because I am effected by the electro field of my Computer. It is a good Educational tool,but its important for children to read books too.To help there powers of visualization. I object to the pornographic unsolicited E mails I recieve on my hotmail site .They have disgusting titles.Children would recieve these wouldnt they. Also through such pornography is being put under our noses every day,for the vunerable or youn or weak ,this is very bad.Or we might include the curious.Such a degrading of humans..
and their view of the human body. so this is an insidious corruption of Society...this is the down side of the net. Also as per the media...we know how the Internet is being used by Paedophiles to lure young children ,into their filthy hands. Isnt there some way this can be stopped ?Children should not be allowed to use the Internet unacompanied ,like parents vet the friends that their children have if they are good parents.This can be a shared activity. Another negative thing ,are the hoax E mails that turn out to be scams i recieved my first one last week. My friend in Canada told about these scams I thought it was just a hoax re my notice on my profile: *Someone has played an elaberate hoax on me by E mail :) I think I know who you are your name on the E mail is a giveaway:):) ..come on own up ..very clever you have been reading my Jonathan Creek Op havnt you.:)* Thats what I first thought ,but found out: This was a scam I recieved a letter purporting to be from a bank in Africa offering me 2o percent of 38 million for pretending to be next of Kin to someone,(watch out) they were after my bank details. They gave a very ethical reason for doing this(very crafty). I have just recieved a second scam ,the person is once again calling themselves Doctor,to get peoples instant trust,this again involves a lot of money offering me 20 percent of 21'5 million pounds ,boy most of us could make use of that BUT its a hoax to get our bank details.....I wouldnt of course get involved in anything dishonest ,once again they want to use my name to form a company to become beneficary to something,even if it was true i would not get involved.Be warned Delete if you recieve, it is a hoax...this is the downside of the Internet ,these people are spoiling things,arent they. the answer is DELETE !!!!. Then there are the BUGS . Sometimes people send E mails with a friends name on.With
a bug.I had one conteining strange material sent it back and they got the bUG unfortunately...if in doubt send short e mail,and query material. The Internet makes life easier and harder at the same time doesnt it. I am loathe to buy on the net now ,my friend had sent money for something ,and didnt recieve the goods,anyone else had this experience? I know firms like Ebay and Amazon are alright. ********************************************* The internet can be helpful for research too...to be cont
Great for social interaction, not great for your personal relationships and phone bill! :-) - Advantages: Alows corss-cultural friendships., A great information resource, no matter what you want to know (just look at dooyoo!)., The closest thing to free speech there is. - Disadvantages: Over populated with porn, or should that be over pornpulated?, It's easy to forget people on a computer screen are real and so easy to offend or insult them., It has made it easier to pass around 'bad' information such as child porn, how to make explosives and other, similar stuff.
I often wonder if Gutenberg thought about where his printing press would take humanity. Could he ever have imagined that it would allow religion greater freedom to spread? What about computers printing out flyers to be posted on every telephone pole? Did he know that his labor would allow everything from Newsweek to Playboy? I think the same could be said of the Internet. I remember my first access to the Internet. It was through a local Freenet. It wasn?t anything to brag about. There weren?t any graphics and it couldn?t handle frames or scripts. All I could really count on was the email. I had to access it through college until I realize that they offered dial-in access. Downloading stuff was a hassle (not that there wasn?t much worth the effort) and I had to log back on every 45 minutes, but it was all I had. Now, I have a better ISP. I can also do more. I sell books online. I write reviews. I actually get to play games online with other people! I feel like I?ve come so far with the Internet, but the Internet still has a long way to go. There are issues, such as online pornography, online gambling, online fraud and other online activities. Notice that I qualified each with ?online?. A lot of activities had offline counterparts long before the Internet went worldwide. It?s just that things are easier now. It?s easier to steal someone?s credit card information. It?s easier to find pictures of naked celebrities. It?s easier to lose your house without even leaving it. It?s also easier to find information. It?s easier to meet people and to buy things. I?m not saying that it?s good or bad. I?m just saying that it?s easier. I have one brother in Oregon and another that will be going back to Ithaca in a few months. She checks her email every day because it?s easier to keep in touch with them that way. (She still has a phone bill to worry about.) Like radio, television and the printing press, the Internet has
its good and its bad. We just have to let it take it?s own course.
I’m sorry if you have read this opinion wanting to find out more about Dooyoo – because that’s not what it will be about. There are umpteen opinions already pointing out how the site works and what its benefits are. That is not what this opinion is about. What this opinion is concerned with is the effect sites like Dooyoo can have upon society as a whole. A German philosopher by the name of Jürgen Habermas came up with the idea of what he called the public sphere. Basically his argument was this – in days of old, when people actually spoke to one another without the aid of a computer – they discussed issues of importance to the country as a whole. This was what he termed the public sphere – it was here that opinions were formed and this he claimed was essential to a healthy democracy. Since the days of Habermas, things have changed and we as a society have moved a long way. Many proponents of the Internet argue that what it has done is move the public sphere forward into a new dimension they call cyberspace. Fellow users of Dooyoo will know that it’s a community and that basically it’s an opinionated community – where effectively users discuss matters of importance. For me Dooyoo is the perfect model for how the Public Sphere has extended to the net. There are those that argue for a democracy to be successful it requires its citizens to be informed and educated on the matters important to them. What the public sphere did was to allow people to share their opinions with each other and actually uncover opinions that were different from their own. What this served to do was create an electorate that was wise enough to make an informed choice when it came to choosing their representatives. Now you may be wondering what relevance this has for Dooyoo. The answer is simple and straightforward. Whilst to most of us it is a harmless bit of fun or a well maintained hobby to society it
217;s helping us become better consumers and well informed to make critical choices. I’m not sure if you consider Dooyoo as having any great importance but for me I think it has a valuable part to play in society. It’s making us aware of the great service providers, the ethical companies and allowing us to question topics some would deem “in the national interest.” So you begin to see how much a part of the new electronic public sphere Dooyoo has become. So perhaps next time you contribute to Dooyoo you might like to think just how important it is that you do and what it is you are doing. Every opinion counts and what you write is certain to influence someone out there in cyberspace. What Dooyoo think?
I have found that people tend to view the world at large, Life, from the inside out. Like the inner rings of a tree you have: your Personal view - childhood memories through to present day, self and family, that which you interact with on a daily basis and how you perceive it. Community view – how you perceive your neighborhood, town, or city, and your National view – this one has a lot to do with your views on current government, how one feels their Country should respond, behave, or change. Educated or Historical View – how well informed you are of past events that lead right up to the present day, and how well you can utilize what you know. This could encompass anything from Law to Lifestyles. Finally you have a World view which should be self explanatory at this point. Anything beyond that is either Faith or Philosophy, which ironically brings us back to a Personal view. ~wink~ Try to bear with me here as I will definitely be taking the scenic route! These are just some of my more coherent thoughts as I sift through the boxes of my life looking for my lost sanity, and pass a little time. Now for one reason or another, we occasionally get stuck in a particular viewpoint, and in some cases it can even become permanent. We all know someone who is completely self-centered, a workaholic, or way too wrapped up in what’s going on in everyone else’s lives. I’ll be honest. I think just about everybody is self-absorbed and lazy. Heck, when you get right down to it, the Universe is lazy and why wouldn’t people be most concerned with what is currently going on in their Personal view of Life? You really can’t look at anything else in life if your Personal view is in upheaval. I don’t think that this is unreasonable or a completely bad thing, yet at the same time it is probably the greatest downfall of our race. The road to Hell IS paved with good intentions, after all. Don’t mistake me w
hen I say lazy! I don’t mean that stack of dishes you left in the sink after a long day, or the socks strewn across your floor either. I mean daily decisions from small to grand, individuals muddling their way through Life, with opinions on anything. If you don’t think we are lazy, try looking at it this way. If you have a choice between doing something difficult which would be extremely unpleasant, or doing Anything Else, which are you More likely to choose? Some of us are masters at procrastination, but even those highly efficient souls whose goal in Life seems to be simply “Getting Things Done” aren’t going to fight their way uphill over every little detail. Everything rolls downhill in one way or another and everything in Life seems to boil down to how you look at it. So, what do people want? Comfort, love, respect, security, good health, and just ordinary courtesy appear to suit most of us just fine. Sure, there are plenty of individuals out there who want Power, Wealth, or some other Object/Concept that they have set their greedy, obsessive little hearts on, but most of us just want to get by in a reasonable fashion with as little stress as possible. There are even a few more gracious souls out there who have some far nobler goal in mind like ending famine, war, disease, and other assorted atrocities that continue to flourish around our world. So, what is it that makes our world such a harsh, unpleasant, thorny place to navigate? Predictably, there are a lot of reasons. First and foremost in my mind is that fact that we are a race of individuals scattered across vast tracts of land. If most people are stuck in their Personal view, that makes for a lot of chaos right there! It’s sort of like the whole human race trying to agree on pizza toppings. How can we get ahead and make the world a better place if we can’t even agree on what needs done, let alone which issue to tackle first? The World
View seems the most difficult to me simply because this is the point where all other viewpoints collide. I’m sure things were easier to decide upon when we lived in much smaller groups and actually Had to depend on each other for survival. Just looking at the number of individuals in our World view now can overwhelm me! How do you get that many people to agree on Anything? Supposedly, that is what all our different forms of government are supposed to do. Pull order out of chaos and get done the things that need done. It was author Christopher Stasheff who really convinced me that the main problem with the U.S. government was a serious lack of communication. Before the internet, the only ways for the average U.S. citizen to stay in touch with the decisions being made by our government were through the media, word of mouth, or snail mail to your local representative. I hope you would agree that none of these are terribly efficient with very little hope for Truth finding a way between the chinks. It was while I was musing along these lines that it occurred to me that there is one thing we all seem to want more desperately than anything else. No matter what viewpoint you look at or where you live, we all want to be Inspired. There is a deep longing in all of us for someone else out there to reach out to us, touch our lives, speak to us as if they knew our innermost thoughts and were in complete accordance. We all seem to be looking for someone who stirs our very soul, in any viewpoint. Yet how can any one person reach a majority of humanity, let alone inspire us all to move in one direction? The thought is certainly discussed in plenty of ways. In the film, Pump Up the Volume, the main character speaks of waiting for a voice to come out of the darkness, a voice that will lead us. In both An American President and Dave, the position of President is idolized showing different versions of something all Americans seem to want,
a Leader who inspires us and in whom we can trust. Various musicians and authors have reached groups of us with the power of their lyrics. Hundreds of people who, for one reason or another, have the attention of the media have spoken out on endless topics that should concern us all. Somehow it seems as if no one person has yet been able to inspire a large enough percentage of humanity to motivate us though. Religion, government, community meetings, the list of means used to reach larger audiences goes on. Added to all those conventional methods, we now have the internet with endless areas of information, chat rooms, homepages, writing sites, opinion surveys, and the capability to reach across trackless miles to speak with someone we never would have met if the internet hadn’t been developed. We can even get the very latest news from darn near anywhere in this wide world of ours. It perfectly caters to mankind’s lazy and impatient manner. Do I feel that the Internet has had a profound effect? Certainly! When you consider the rapid changes in technology though, there really is no telling how the Net will develop in coming years. Are the effects negative or positive on society at large? Well, we have to remember that this is just another tool, and when all is said and done, it comes down to how it is Used! Again, we are looking at the most hectic viewpoint, the World View. Some users will be wise beyond their years, some severely stunted in their maturity regardless of chronological age, and both will be found cruising the Internet. The only thing we Can be sure of is that each individual will act according to their own nature. The internet is still new and chaotic, but it has the potential to carry one person’s views, words, and beliefs all over the world. This could very well be the medium through which revolutionary changes are made for our society on a scale that has never been achieved before. Will we find
Inspiration, Leaders, or Answers? Not immediately, that is certain. For all its rapid shifts, society is slow to change as a whole. We are all just overwhelmed. Setting aside the multitude of individual viewpoints, the problems existing in society seem too numerous, too controversial, too far beyond the reach of a single person seeking answers. I can understand that, I feel the same way. I have so many things going on in my Personal viewpoint right now, that often I quite literally feel like I am drowning as I move through my day, and I honestly don’t have any viable solution for the problems I face there. So, I sympathize most sincerely with everyone else out there struggling to just live their lives. However, unless we choose to do something, nothing will change...At least, not for the better. If we are too afraid of making a bad decision to make any decision at all, where is that going to get us? Isn’t anyone else out there sick and tired of just muddling along and not getting anywhere? I often wonder how long we will have to wait before humanity’s emotional development catches up with the technology we have created. Until that happens, I rather think we will be waiting awhile longer for that voice to come out of the Darkness. Like so much in Life, the pros and cons of the Internet are entirely up to us.
New challenges with many lows and highs ahead we may not always be in control of, await each and every one. Technology and science will evolve. Having said that, I wish to share my humble opinion regarding the technology of computers and the Internet. This is my simple experience, maybe insignificant, but truthful.
What is so wonderful about technology? Well, you are busy reading right now, are you not? Should technology not have existed, I would not be able to write and share my experience...and you would not be reading different opinions from around the globe at the touch of a button.
The opportunities to knowledge are boundless, waiting to be discovered and implemented. Information and knowledge can become harmful at any given time with many disguises. Have you never uttered remarks or questions in general before such as, "What do they teach you at school these days?" or, "I wonder who your friends are and what they do?" It is more than likely that computers and the Internet are merely the culprit in the eyes of today's society purely to soothe our conscience. Let's erase information and knowledge of any kind. What do we then have? Nothing! I can not exist without information...and you?
Gone are the days when the facsimile had been the most reliable and cheapest medium of contact. With the Internet I am now linked at the touch of a button, posting and receiving information regularly from anywhere. "Time is
Life long friendship is another I can not imagine without. I too agree one disadvantage of the Internet is the fact that it is often used as a tool for deceit. Yet, I am thrilled at the thought of its lost battle once I found a true friendship through the Internet. I will understand people for doubting the fact that it is possible for a honest romance or true friendship on the Internet as I was there too, you know. I had my share of deceit too.
The Internet allowed four strangers to write, getting to know each other, becoming friends for life. Eventually came the bright idea to meet, and they suggested a holiday together. Leaving the UK, visiting two strangers whom you only wrote to by e-mail in a strange country. Months of planning through the Internet proved a huge success once we finally met.
Can technology of the computer and the Internet alienate us from our friends? Absolutely not! I have more contact with my friends through the Internet than before. What seemed to be so distant in the past, can change at the blink of the eye. The ability to be able to chat to your friends with immed
iate response still amazes me, especially when my friends are out of reach, until I sit in front of my screen. Now, is that magic, or what?
The technology of the computer and the Internet is merely a tool available with immense possibilities. It is within our power to use this great medium to our advantage, or abuse it. The future shines bright, and technology already claimed its role leading us into the light. Remember, is it knowledge...or nothing? Which do you prefer?