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.