June 8, 2011
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a window to the outside world
For me life online started when I was at university. I studied for six years, and when I started, registering for an exam meant going to campus and signing your name on a physical list. When I concluded my studies the exam registration was happening online only. Over the course of those six years the world had changed, or at least the part of the world where I was living.
I fully realize I sound like a grandmother now, but when I grew up you had to make your way to the library or at least go pick up a physical encyclopedia to find information. We didn’t have an encyclopedia in my house, so hence I spent a lot of time at the library. I also dragged quite an impressive amount of books back and forth on a very regular basis, and we’re talking piles at a time here. These days you can just go to wikipedia. I love libraries and I still like spending time there, but I also really like wikipedia. And I truly love the internet.
Obviously the abundance of information that’s right at your finger tips is enough to make me purr with delight, but the other fantastic thing is the quantum leap in communication the internet has brought with it. People aren’t plants and therefore we move around. The internet has provided us with completely new ways to stay in touch over vast geographical distances. Before the internet living in different countries put serious obstacles in the way of having a close and frequent contact. Of course you could stay in touch, but it took time and/or was expensive. Today you can talk to anyone at any time for free.
The interesting thing is also that the person to person communication has been one of the main focuses of development. Finding ways to interact, that seems to be a really big deal in the online version of reality. And probably quite logically so. We’re social animals, we like to have a tribe, belong to a group, be part of a social context, and the internet has opened up several new ways for us to engage in this behavior. We can email, skype, chat, tweet, blog, etc, etc, etc. What ever takes your fancy.
And our fancy it has definitely taken. Read more of this post