The Benefits of Being Online

The world has changed incredibly in the span of twenty years. When I was little, my family didn’t have a computer. I don’t remember having one until I was at least 9. Even then I don’t think I ever went “online”. The only activity that I did on the computer was typing my name over and over again in different fonts. I still do that on occasion.

Now it seems that I can’t go a day without being online. I have to check my “stuff” which consists of email, twitter, blogs, facebook, tumblr, pinterest…the list goes on. Of course there are times when I’m away and can’t check my stuff. Those are the times when I’m sitting in a corner and rocking myself back and forth.

One might look at this scenario and think my online life is unhealthy. Fortunately, I’m one of the light cases. I know for a fact that teenagers stay online for hours and hours on end. Even if they aren’t physically at a computer, they can still go online with their phones. I know I’m painting an extreme picture, but the internet, despite being a big time-waster, is actually an amazing thing.

We are able to connect with people around the world without leaving our homes (or beds…in my case). We are able to meet friends, share stories, and fall in love online. Some would even say it’s easier to meet people online because no one is judging you by your appearance, just by what you say.

Personally, I am more relaxed when I’m talking to people online than in real-life. Online, you can choose to respond to a conversation whenever and however you want to. You can take the time to think about what you want to say before your say it. You can eloquently word your input instead of trying to come up with the right words in your head. Everything is smoother and thought out. We can really be our best selves online for that reason.

Will we turn into drones that don’t know how to talk in the future? Possibly. Will we go blind from the light of our computers constantly being shone into our eyes? Most likely. But we’ll have many more acquaintances than we ever could have met in our own day to day lives. We can relate to others and realize that others can relate to us. We can comfort and be comforted. We can laugh and share thought-provoking stories. And that might be worth something in the long run.



28 thoughts on “The Benefits of Being Online

  1. I’m already a drone, I insist that everyone communicates with me via email.

    I blimmin’ love the Internet. I remember life without it, but can’t imagine going back to those dark days.

    I want to hear more tales of you at nine years old.

    • Hahah ooo good post idea…Tales of a Nine Year Old Lily. Perfect.
      Those days were definitely dark. It’s just weird to imagine kids as young as 3, playing games online and trying to send emails and stuff…!

  2. this is an accurate observation. however, despite the unlimited time i have to think of what to say, sometimes i still say stupid things online (even moreso than in real life!) 😀 well…

    • Haha same! I try to get my thoughts organized online, but they still go off in tangents and sound choppy. And yeah, the thing about saying dumb things in real life is that people eventually forget about them. But when you say them online, they float around the internet forever and ever… :/

      • haha. that’s right! you know how it is when you wanted to edit or delete something you posted on somebody’s blog but couldn’t. i guess some matters just need to be responded to spontaneously and over analyzing just messes it up.

  3. I came into this with a blow-hard attitude ready to argue but you’ve convinced me. Like with everything, there needs to be balance. I’ve made great friends in person and online. The one thing they always have in common is I can keep in touch better through the Internet. It’s not so instant and unlike a conversation face to face you can take your time. Now I feel like I’m repeating what you said.

    Simply put, nice post.

    • Well thanks Timmy. I think our friendship is the epitome of an awesome online encounter. We took the time to tell all of our stories, listened, responded, and related. It’s weird, we know so much about each other, but we’ve never met. But yes, I agree. Balance is key. The internet is fun and everything, but spending tons of time online is gross. Take it from me, I know.

    • Isn’t it crazy how far you’ve come since then? If someone told you back then that you would be running a blog online, you probably wouldn’t have believed them. Mainly because those words didn’t exist back then. Hah 😉

      • I remember the first computer we got, a spectrum zx it was only for games it was brilliant, but you could write games also, but only in binary code and it was bloody hard going and long hours 🙂

        But to-day people would not have a clue what binary code is 🙂

      • Man, yeah I don’t think I know what binary code actually is even though I’ve heard of it before. Pretty intense for sure. So primitive!

  4. Pete Howorth says:

    Plus if you don’t like someone you can just tell them to piss off, you can’t do that in real life, well, you can and I do but they still keep popping up when you don’t want them to, at least online you can just ignore someones existence.

    I tend to like people I meet online more than I do in real life anyway, you’re a cool cat Lillington.

    • So true Petey. There are many times I wish I could tell people off in real life, but it just doesn’t work that way. I guess it does for you because you’re ‘ard, but for the regular people of the world, we’re too scared. You’re the coolest cat of them all, Petey.

      • Pete Howorth says:

        I’m only as cool as the cool people around me 😀 and you shouldn’t be scared to tell people off, you have a pretty face, bitches will listen!

    • Haha aww thanks! Yeah, if I get disconnected from the internet for too long, I start shaking and going through with drawl symptoms. It’s a serious matter! 😉

  5. Agreed, the internet has its good points…although personally, I should try spending a little less time here. (My vision is getting worse as I type this.) It’s kind of creepy how some of the things you write are things that I’ve recently thought of. “You can eloquently word your input instead of trying to come up with the right words in your head.” A few days ago I was thinking the SAME thing, how I love the online world because I can think before I write and be less awkward. And online, it’s much easier to come up with a good comeback cuz you have time! Great post. 😉

    • That’s so weird that we have the same thoughts. When were you born, like the year and month, if you don’t mind me asking? It might have something to do with that, or it might not. Maybe it’s because we’re both Lily’s and both awesome? Yeah, it’s almost fun getting in tiffs with people online because you can think of the perfect comebacks!

      • June 1988…that would be so weird if you said the same thing, haha…but I doubt it. Maybe it is our awesome names. But pretty much every post I’ve read so far is about something I was just thinking about, except you write it better. 🙂

      • Ohh shoot. I’m October 1987. So close, but yet, so far. Well, in the Chinese horoscope, you’re a dragon, which is a good sign. Most of my friends are dragons. I’m a rabbit. I don’t know why I know this stuff, but I do 🙂 hah. Noo you definitely write everything better. My posts are so choppy and don’t make sense by the end. Yours are perfect.

  6. One time I put my FB status update as “OMG I LOVE THE INTERNET!!” and when only like two people responded to it, I was seriously bummed that I was clearly in a class all by myself in my love for Al Gore’s beauteous invention. But, obvs, if it weren’t for the Internet I would seriously lose my mind. It serves so many purposes in my life tht I’d rock back and forth in the corner too without it.

    • Yeah, it’s such a great way to connect with people. I don’t even have to call my mom to tell her that I’m alive, because she’ll see my blog post. Kind of great the way that works. Al Gore is such a genius. Where would we be without that awesome guy? And without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to see cute little Miss C! I wouldn’t even know that she existed!

  7. Great post, and I agree on everything you say!
    I’ve been thinking about this as well. It is in fact easier to make friends online, but that’s logic: everyone with a blog will somehow want to be read and want to read. You don’t start a blog when you’re antisocial, right? Plus: where els would you meet people that seem so different? Where should I meet 50-year-old women and 30-year-old men?
    Life online is easier… And that is quite pathetic perhaps :). But there are so many other reasons as well – you mentioned a lot. Also, if someone doesn’t answer you or isn’t nice, you don’t have to feel embarrassed. You’re not forced to talk to anyone. Etc.
    Hurray for online friends! 😀

    • Hah yes totally! You get it! Where else would I have met a Belgian teenager that likes Lolita and dancing? Hah! It’s the perfect amount of knowing things about people, but there’s still an amount of mystery there, ya know? Thanks NBI! Hurray for online friends indeed! 😀

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