Today is the 25th birthday of the Internet, a.k.a. the World Wide Web, and my feelings are firmly mixed.
There are so many strides I've made and blessings I've received and things that I'm thankful for that I wouldn't have if this Information Superhighway didn't exist. BUT. The dark things that have come out of it and that continue to because of the terrible side of humans are pretty foul, and I'm not altogether sure that we wouldn't be better off without it.
I don't buy into the horror that the very thought of going back to times B.I. (before Internet, haha) instills in some folks. Humans are survivors, and lived just fine before this thing of wonder came along. Hell, humans survived without fire, for pete's sake.
Don't get me wrong -- one of the biggest delights in my life these past years has been the option to query literary agents and publishing houses by EMAIL *insert heavenly harp music here* and see their latest submission requirements the moment I needed to, streaming my favorite classic TV shows and Korean dramas whenever I want them, and having my family and dear friends who are scattered throughout the world at my fingertips. Without the Internet, I wouldn't have my blogs and websites that have brought me so much joy, and I'm extremely grateful.
I'm a true homebody and am the most content when I'm in my humble abode. That's the way I'm wired. With the Internet, it's a win-win because everything -- and I mean everything -- that I could ever want or buy or learn or see is waiting to be Googled without me setting foot outside my front door. (Good thing I'm not a big shopper, or I'd have a 6 x 6 waiting for me in debtor's prison, haha.)
But, at the same time, I miss the excitement of opening up my literary group's newsletter when the mailman finally delivered it and devouring the news it contained. I miss the one-on-one time when humans could actually talk to each other, knowing that we had that person's complete attention, without Twitter notifications and Facebook notifications and Instagram notifications and keyboard clicking going on at the same time. Now we message. Or chat. Or text. Or sext. You don't have to have the courage to bully someone to their face -- you can do it under the cover of an anonymous name and rip their lives apart in front of millions of people instead of just your town. You don't have to worry about your p0rn magazine stash being discovered anymore -- just browse the Net incognito or delete your history upon shutdown. A virus used to be something that might make you sick for a few days... now, thanks to humans with narcissistic tendencies and nothing better to do, it can wipe out whole business networks and home computers from coast to coast.
This invention was supposed to make life easier and more convenient, and it has, in so many ways, and yet we're scrambling around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying in vain to make 24 hours in a day enough. *coughsocialmediacough*
The pros and cons of the Internet go on and on. (Technically, like money, the Internet can't be bad on its own. It has to BE misused.)
So, what think you?
READ on the Google Official Blog: ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEB, LET’S KEEP IT FREE AND OPEN