Do you ever think about how much time you spend online? All of the talk this week regarding SOPA and PIPA, Wikipedia blackouts, and protests has really made me think about how we use the Internet today. I vaguely remember when my family bought our first computer. What I do remember is trying to sign onto the Internet for 20 minutes! I also remember when I was in grade school and AIM was the cool thing to do. Remember changing your screen name (or as we called them back then- sn)numerous times whenever you thought of something hip or clever. Oh, and those profiles you could fill in. Personally, I was a big fan of changing my font and text color weekly. I also remember getting calls from friends tell me to “sign on” so we could chat virtually…seems odd now considering we were already on the phone and could have communicated that way. But nonetheless, the world was changing!
Fast forward to today and try to imagine going a day without Internet. Think about how much longer it would take to write that 10 page paper if you had to sort through books for all of your information. How would we show pictures to our friends who live far away? Do you have direct deposit, check our account online, or pay bills online? I know what you’re all thinking, “how would I order my GreekGear?!” Imagine all of those luxuries gone. In fact, you wouldn’t even be reading this blog if we didn’t have Internet and I would be unemployed!
Of course, there are two sides to every story. Some say the Internet has harmed us by allowing for false information to circulation, making us “socially awkward”, ruining relationships, or simply being so much of a distraction to us. On the other hand, we have gained a vast amount of knowledge, stayed in touch with friends, and networked via the Internet. Now I could list statistics and fill your mind with theories but I’m not going to. The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer! But it is an interesting thing to think about…Take some time to acknowledge how much time you spend online and what you use the Internet for, you surprise yourself!