The Internet isn't the monster some make it out to be...
December 18, 2006 12:36pm CST
The internet isn’t as bad as some would like to believe. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that the internet may be the single greatest communication device in the history of mankind… of course, that’s assuming language is a given. I recall a time before I’d finally made the decision to come online that I was overwhelmed with the negativity the World Wide Web was receiving. Surely, it couldn’t be that bad, I thought to myself, but story after story of internet hacking, theft, misrepresentation, and abuse kept me from taking the final step off the high dive into the daunting pool of cyberspace. Many years later, I’m here to tell you that the internet has literally changed my perception of the world. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting people from all over the world without ever having to leave the house. I’ve heard other voices and experienced other mindsets, shared thoughts and ideas with those that I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to sit with in my typical daily routine. I’ve opened my mind to other possibilities and cultures, come to have a deeper respect and understanding of my own history, and become a much better-rounded individual. All of this is thanks to the internet. The web has done one more thing for me, and this is perhaps the one thing that makes me marvel at its ability to bring people so far away from each other closer together. You see, I’m a bit of a flake when it comes to keeping in touch with people. I don’t call as much as I should. I never sit down to write letters. I tend to lose contact with those I’d rather stay in contact with pretty easily. The web has changed that. Not only has it allowed me the ability to keep in touch with current acquaintances, it’s allowed me to make contact with friends I haven’t heard from in decades. Just last month, I made contact with a friend I hadn’t heard from since I was 14. Twenty-one years later, I’ve been able to reach out type a few words on a computer and send a message to Jason all the way up in Brooklyn. Simply amazing. And just yesterday, I made contact with my boy Bill, one of the greatest friends I’ve ever known, but yet again someone I lost touch with, and had no idea where he was for more than five years. Mol sent me an email after three years (thank God for that). Spencer and I have spoken after nearly six years. Gina and I have never lost touch thanks to the web, and Brandie and I haven’t spoken since the 80’s, but now I know my old high-school drinking partner is doing fine in the Midwest. I’ll tell you… I’m sitting back thinking of how easy it is for us to reach out and touch someone’s life. How simply we infuse a part of ourselves upon them and make a lasting impression, but also how easily we let those people fade from our realities never to hear from them again. Are our meetings and exchanges so trivial a thing that we lose the desire to have those people we once called friends remain a part of our lives? Do memories have to fade completely away? I’m at a point that I’m refusing to let that happen.If you’re reading this, chances are that we’ve made some sort of an impression upon each other already. We’ve touched each other in some fashion. We’ve established some sort of a bond between us. Let’s not let that bond be broken. Keep in contact with those that you love and hold dear. It doesn’t take that long to reach out and say hello. Now, thanks to the technology of the web and its like, it’s really a very easy thing to stay in touch.