The Power of the Internet

Everyone knows how huge and powerful the internet is, to a degree. It’s so large in scale and scope it has gone beyond most people’s understanding, which is no surprise. And it’s only just begun. It’s in its infancy, which is scary and exciting.

I got online in the mid- 1990’s with AOL and Netscape and a dial-up modem. It didn’t take long for us to get things up and running so that we could access it with decent speeds and tools that made it usable in ways we only dreamt about. I’ve learned how it works and how to use it probably more than most people, and I spend a lot of time using it, looking for ways to optimize my life and those I love, like my daughter. I’ve seen some things on it I’d rather not have come across, and discovered some things that I would have never been able to see, or “experience” otherwise, even if it’s not first hand. It’san amazing learning tool. And for someone who’s insatiably curious like me, it’s a wonder to behold.

I laid in bed at night as a child wishing with all my heart and dreaming for things to exist, like being able to listen to a song or view a cartoon whenever I wanted, and the internet has made that possible. If I wanted to see a Christmas Peanuts cartoon, I had to wait a year for when it came on at a certain time on a certain channel, and if I missed it, I’d have to wait another year. People of this age will never know what it’s like to go without. Just to be able to hear a certain song or read a certain book when I was growing up took some work and a lot of time and cost. Now you just go to the internet archive, Spotify, Youtube, or any number of websites to pull it up in any number of formats. It’s unbelievable. It’s magical.

So I appreciate what’s possible now and use the internet to fill the voids I had growing up. When I want to know something I go find it. When I was young, I had a set of 1965 encyclopedias at home which was the best resource at hand.  Our school library was meager, and the city library was decent but nothing like what Google offers by a longshot.

I have a Google Home speaker that you can ask questions to, and my daughter thinks it’s amazing, which it is. You can ask it anything and get an answer immediately, to any question you have. In any language. And I think I paid $20 for it. Incredible.

You’d think with such tools and resources available, society would be brimming with knowledge and we’d be speeding through the galaxy at full intellectual speed. Instead, we’re arguing about petty superficial issues and worrying about things that have been long-solved. We’re burying history we don’t like only to try and repeat it with different results. We’re forgetful. We’re lazy. We’re complacent. We’re human.

Every now and then I find something or someone online that makes me stop suddenly and reassess things. I find it’s becoming rarer and rarer as time goes on that I discover such things, however. That’s for a few reasons I can think of, but when it happens, I love it. It’s like finding a new band that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard, or a new jewel or creature in the sea that you never knew existed. It’s a pivotal moment, in other words, and you can recognize it, and it’s exciting. That’s what happened when I came across this guy one night, out of the blue.

It’s nothing that will really change the course I’m on, but it’s fully reassuring that I shouldn’t ever stop believing or give up hope. He and I share a lot of traits and have had a lot of the same obstacles in life. His optimism and faith and “damn the torpedoes” attitude is what some people like me need during times like I’m currently facing. And interestingly enough, he’s in Atlanta, where I was born and have lived along the way and consider a home of sorts. But we share the same love of music, type of music, and appreciation of life and have a similar perspective that allows us to keep going through the bad times.

 

And this is the song that you should always remember: