The original idea for this article was suggested by my girlfriend, Gia. Half credit goes to her.
“As of March 31, 2008, 1.407 billion people use the Internet according to Internet World Stats.”
Every morning, those of us who have computers turn it on and immediately start doing something. Most of the time it involves the Internet, which much like the PC itself, is an indispensable tool. We being to do stuff, and then we become a bit bored, and what do we decide to do? Play some music! Oh, no, wait – this is my new PC; I don’t have any of my music files here. Wait, I also have none of my games here. And Mom took the laptop on her trip, so.. I can’t get to them either! Man! Well, it wouldn’t hurt to download some more stuff, I mean; this PC does have that 250 GB hard drive… might as well!
Then you start to get all this stuff off the Net – wallpapers for your desktop, music for your iTunes, games for your emulators, coffee for your cup (it might as well be possible) And what allows you to get all this? THE INTERNET!
The Internet has become such a huge commodity, that sometimes we just stop and look at the download log. Half the fun in computing, at least in my experience, is downloading stuff. Download games, music, even entire operating systems (Linux!) The grand number of things you can download off the net is simply ginormous (is that a word?)
In the early 90s, when PCs were somewhat new, and were only then being introduced into the common American household and only then being made accessible to those with little to no knowledge of DOS or any of those hard-to-learn systems, the Internet wasn’t that fast. Heck, it was barely available. I mean, yes it was there, but it only allowed for viewing of text, and images, and other small little things that nowadays are something that we think of as small elements on a page which load super-fast. I mean, now, the Internet, as well as the community of developers and technicians that make ever so many website, applications, videos, games, and more for it; both these things are huge. Just look at the spectrum of things we can do now – watch entire movies, find a date, buy a car, rent a house, play games, listen to music, talk to people, keep up with our blogs – and so much more. The Internet has indeed grown to be a part of our lives, so much that those days that Mom forgets to pay the bill, and I’m without Internet, a part of me dies.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit too exaggerated.
Every great thing in the universe, however, has its disadvantages. The Internet, as useful and revolutionaryas it is, has also brought problems that would have never occurred before. Sites like MySpace and Facebook have, for a long time, been criticized as places where criminals are able to abduct children, where people fake their identities to get whatever it is they might want; where fraud is more likely to occur, where secret information can easily be shared, when privacy becomes a privilege, etc. These things cannot be ignored, but the Internet, like I said, is at the same time so useful, that it cannot be abandoned, despite the problems it’s caused, in addition to the great things it’s done.
The Internet is a powerful thing, and without a doubt an icon of modern-day technology. Many inventions are developed every day, every month, every year, but only a handful of them grow to not only have a great effect upon society, but become an integral part of the common Joe’s life. The Internet, which had its beginnings as a military experiment, was fortunately one of those.