This fact has occurred to me again since the addition of the globe visitors map I put on my page. Each of those little dots represents someone who has stopped by to read some, if not all, of what is written here. I find that pretty incredible, without the internet that would never happen, how could it ?
But thanks to the world wide web there are people in what to me are far flung corners of the globe who know something about me and are aware of my existence.
I don’t know why I like that thought quite so much, but I do, and I appreciate the time they have spent here. The world certainly is getting smaller every day.
The thing I really love about the internet is the idea that you’re never truly alone. As I’m writing this it’s 5pm on a Sunday, I’m sat on my bed with a coffee and my laptop and in between writing I’m conversing with a few friends on facebook, my msn is on and there’s a couple of people popping in and out of chat there. Apart from one person I don't see any of them very often - yet cyberspace enables me to regularly keep in touch. I’m also an insomniac and I really appreciate the fact that if I can’t sleep there is always someone to talk to.
I have friends that I have made online from all over the world, I know some people might say that someone you’ve never met and are not likely to is not a real friend but I’m inclined to disagree with them, there have been times when I’ve told these relative strangers things that I might not share so easily with real world friends.
If you’re that extra bit removed from someone’s life it can make it easier to be non-judgemental, andsometimes a different persons outlook and perspective on problems is all you need to see things differently yourself. And it’s fascinating just to hear how different peoples lives are elsewhere on the planet from them rather then watching it on tv.
In some ways I think the internet is a great equalizer. It doesn’t just remove geographical barriers, the differences between our social standing, economic status, age, race and sexuality that separate us in our communities and daily lives become irrelevant. I am the sort of person who will talk to anyone, but without the web my circumstances and surroundings limit that.
And as for internet shopping......I’m beyond impressed that I can go to Asda.com at 4am, pick what I want and the next day it’s delivered.
I actually did all my Christmas shopping online last year too, I may be the exception where females are concerned but I HATE shopping at the best of times, never mind when there is all the extra hassle and short tempered customers in December, but thanks to my Vaio I avoided it all.
Actually I do think it’s quite true that you can get anything you want online, all you need do is enter the right keyword and google will find it for you, and that's preferable to negotiating shops and crowds to me.
There have been times when I’ve been pondering some bizarre question or other, or been involved in a discussion and wanted facts to back up what I’m saying, and it’s all there just for the looking.
Of course whilst you can filter out adult content and spam, and scan for Trojans and spyware, I’ve yet to see a bullshit filter so it does pay to exercise caution over some of what you might find.
I suppose it’s my age showing really, younger people who have grown up with the technology are so used to it always being there they take it for granted. But I can remember when a long distance phone call, to my cousin who lived in the North of England, was an expensive novelty that I was only allowed a couple of times a year.
As a child we didn’t even have a telephone in our house, in fact we only got one after my parents split because my mum then thought it might be wise to have ‘in case of emergencies’ as she was the only adult in the house.
I remember, I think I was 17 at the time, a friend telling me that her parents were going to get a video, which meant that you could watch cinema films on your tv, and us both being totally amazed that this was even possible.
When this wonderful machine arrived it was the size of slab of concrete and weighed about the same, but we were mesmerised by it, and spent hours being more impressed by the fact that we were watching movies at home then the content of them.
That is until the day Ellie found the one featured in the above illustration in her parents room, we were highly amused by that.
As a child I loved Star Trek, still do really (apart from Voyager...just sayin'), and my favourite thing was the ‘communicators’, at the time it seemed so far fetched yet nowadays everyone’s got a mobile phone, which is the same principle to my mind - no matter where you are you can be spoken to, well unless there’s a poor signal.
But even Spock and Kirk would occasionally have difficulties communicating because of some inter-stellar interference. I hope it’s just a matter of time before I can transport myself off to some tropical beach in a few seconds and I’m planning to clear out the spare bedroom ready to install a holodeck.
I once watched an episode of the twilight zone where a man from the past time travelled to the present and was scared to see aeroplanes in the sky.
I can only imagine where technology will take us 100 years from now - space travel I guess, and I’m only sad that I’m not going to be around to see it.