I was thinking on my way into work today about all the little things I do on the web that now, are generally so much easier than it was back in the early days. Thanks to consolidation, the cloud and a few other things, I can have access to my bookmarks, email, some documents and even entertainment on any computer or device I want. Granted I get amused by little things, but to me this is amazing.
For instance, I use Google for so much now. I’ve consolidated all my emails into my Gmail account, I use Google docs for writing this blog, I’ve even uploaded a great majority of my music collection to Google Play so I have access to it anywhere I can get the internet. I’ve also started using Google+ for some of my social media, but I do have Facebook since it is the dominant social media outlet. I even love the simplicity of WordPress where I can use one login and still do work on the two blogs I write for. To top it off, I even have Twitter. I still don’t know quite what I’m doing with it or totally how to work that thing, but I’ll figure it out.
I remember when we used to think the internet was flat, filled with outlaw gunslingers and monsters. We had AOL, Netscape, Mindspring, Earthlink, Juno, WebTV (yes I had one of those, and no you can’t make fun of it here), etc. etc. It was like each ISP was its own community of people. I’ve watched as those individual communities have been taken into the larger world of the internet as it is now. Whether this has been good or bad, I don’t know.
Overall, I’ve been impressed by the evolution of the internet. Watching it grow to where even something I write could potentially have an audience of millions. Watching it evolve into something that has become such a part of our daily lives that we take it for granted. I know it’s something we could live without, I mean we have before. But it’s become something that we can not only live with, but thrive with.
We have a tool to connect us with others in a way we haven’t before. It has given us the ability to create ideas and share those ideas on a global scale. The internet like any other tool, is only good or bad depending on what we choose to do with it. We each have to make that choice.
But most importantly, the internet has given each of us a voice with the ability to shout to the world with. Our individual voices are like ripples in the global pool of the internet, that can either stay a ripple or cause a tsunami. But it’s not the voice that’s important, it’s what we say with those voices. Which leads to a couple of questions, what do we want our voice to say and how do we want our voice to be remembered? I for one want to create. I would be happy to connect with someone with something I wrote, giving them the confirmation that they weren’t the only one who felt that way about something. Because sometimes that kind confirmation, that feeling of connection, helps you realize you’re not alone in the world.
Boy did this article take a turn. Anyway, I’d give the internet an overall of 4 stars out of 5. I believe there’s always room for improvement and I don’t want the internet to stop trying to improve. I’m not sure how it can, but I’m willing to be surprised by it as it does.
Originally published January 29, 2013