Tonight, I asked “C” a hypothetical question.
If all the countries of the world simultaneously held a vote on whether to keep the internet or go back to the old ways, how would you vote?
We both had to think about it for a few minutes.
I think the internet has had both negative and positive impacts on our society and the way we live.
Being instantly connected, at all times can be both a blessing and a curse. I can’t possibly be the only one that finds instant this and the texting and the constant barrage of beeps and dings intrusive and bothersome. By the same token, being able to instantly answer any question you have no matter the topic via a quick web search or through programs like Siri is time saving and convenient.
Having internet and a good device, allows you limitless possibilities. Convenient ways to network, immediate access to information, easy ways to shop, thousands of games and millions of cat and dog videos. It’s brilliant!
I was first introduced to the internet when I was in University. We had computer labs where you could go and check your Pegasus Mail on a monochrome screen. I remember the first time I sent an email. Pointing at the little flying envelope icon, I marveled at how simple it was. It was an easy way to stay connected with other students that you may be doing group work with. Text messaging was still a few years away at that point and this was as close to instant as we had.
I couldn’t believe how far we’d come as people. Before email, at best, we could leave a message on their home answering machine and just accept that you wouldn’t be resolving this today.
When it’s being used leisurely, I love the internet. It’s great. I’m totally one of those people who constantly check their phone. I love Netflix and I love that I can take my iPad to bed with me to watch videos until I get tired. But when you have a job to do, and it’s being slow or your computer crashes or a program doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. I curse it. I curse the day it became publicly available. Which, according to the internet, is August 6, 1991.
Internet and technology certainly has made life more challenging at times. For example, I spent the last week and a half preparing for our first broadcast on internet radio. Well, we spent hours and hours learning new programs, searching for good topics, writing out bits and the flow of the near 3 hour show only to learn upon setting up for broadcasting live- our Windows 10 has expired. Apparently when you buy computers now, it comes with Windows and Office but no one tells you it’s only registered for a year. After that, you are required to pay $165 for a new activation key for Windows. What a scam! We can’t afford that right now and without it we can’t broadcast, do our podcasts or get important Windows updates. The very thing that has allowed me such an opportunity, has taken it away just like that. The irony, is bitterly painful.
Despite the obvious nettlesome aspects of virtually living on the internet, there lies a darker sinister element. The crime, the hacking, the pedophiles, the identity theft, the loss of privacy, the dark web, the cyber-bullying and the way people talk to one another online behind the protection of anonymity. It’s made us colder, shortened our attention spans, affected relationships and has changed the way we even spend time in person with one another. It’s made us less trusting and more paranoid. It’s turning us in to simulated zombies. It’s confused us with fake news and propaganda. When we think we’ve become smarter, the internet lets us know with a leak or a whistle blower just how dumb we’ve actually become.
I think that I would vote to go back to the old ways. If nothing more than to not be hunched over a computer or device everyday. Do you remember sunshine? I miss the smell of outside. Can you remember peace and quiet? I miss face to face communication. I miss the bliss of ignorance and not knowing every foul detail of every wicked deed done.
How would you vote?
A) Go back to the old ways
B) Keep the internet
I’d love to hear your feedback!
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