Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Internet - Is It Worth The Good It Does?

The Internet - Is It Worth The Good It Does?

I saw the beginnings of the Internet in college in 1992.  That was before web browsers and it was mainly text.  In 1993, I saw Mosaic, the first web browser, and now I could see text and pictures online.  It was slow, however, I knew if they could speed this up, it was going to take over the world!  The Internet is so vital to us today, the thought of not having it is unimaginable.  How would we all have dealt with the COVID 19 quarantines without the Internet?

Because of the Internet, many were able to telecommute, children received their schoolwork and watched instruction, streaming movies and music soothed us when we could not leave the house.  We used it to get food, groceries, other vital items delivered to our doorsteps.  And so many other things we can not live without came from the Internet.

We got our news from the Internet.  Today, we have access to so much news, it is impossible to take it all in.  A half a century ago, we received news from a newspaper or the nightly news on television.  Today, it is all from the Internet anytime you look at your cell phone.  

Social media and applications once mainly used to post photos, mainly cat photos, and things you did in your life, like what you ate today, became areas where links, news, photos, and memes from all over the world were debated.  When people just posted a million cat photos, nobody cared too much.  Today if a meme that you disagree with gets posted, it can receive thousands of comments in a few hours. 

Things you would never say to someone's face, are posted without much thought on how it may affect the person that posted.  The old saying, 'Don't say anything at all if you can't say anything nice' is long gone.  It is easy to forget that there is a human being on that account.  Someone that has people that care about them.  Someone that may be going through a rough patch in their life.  Someone that, like you, is not perfect.  

If we could live the life of someone else for just a few hours, we would better understand their responses or actions.  Hate is a strong word, I rarely use it.  I may dislike someone's actions or comments, however, I do not hate them.  

When a word is used so much, it has little effect.  When I was a kid, you never heard profanity in public.  So when you did, you looked over because something happened.  Today, I hear and see profanity so much, I do not really notice it now.  Curse words have lost their effect because they are overused today. 

Disagreements are a part of life.  We all have had different backgrounds, life experiences, education, been to different parts of the world, jobs, commutes, and so on and on.  Life is compromised.  Everyone that is in or has had a long term relationship, understands that without compromise, there is no relationship.  In a society, there is a need for compromise on things the group disagrees with.  Try to find common ground, and grow from there.  If the goal is to work on an issue, communication is more effective than not talking.  Two people can look at the same thing or event and share different experiences.  That is not wrong, that is life. 

Be the person that can study an issue, read and learn about it, then make informed decisions.  Share you research with others in a respective manner.  If they are rude to you, you can always take the high road.  Learn from all of your experiences and question why you feel and believe in the things that you do. That is growth, and growing as person makes understanding humanity easier.  With age comes wisdom.  With wisdom comes empathy. 

Remember, we are humans.  Not perfect, we have flaws, and most of the time we try to make the world a better place.  Maybe not with big gestures, maybe they are little things. Like smiling at someone that needs it. Take the time to listen to someone that needs to talk to another human being face to face.  Help someone that needs a hand.  Be that positive light that humanity needs now, more than ever with all that is going on in the world.  Not just in 2020, but for the rest of your lives. 

There is love for all of us, if you will try to see it.  Forgiving is good.  Letting things go that do not really matter a million years from now, will make today better.  Use technology for good and not for bad.  Put down your technology devices from time to time and talk to a human in real life.  Look at them, see they are not much different than you are.  Feel better?

The choice is yours.  I know what I am going do to make the world I live in a better place for the future.  I hope you will think about it, and do so too.  See you in person soon, please wave hi to me and I will do the same.


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