Every now again I find myself stopping and thinking… what did we do before we had the Internet? How did we find stuff out? Did we even bother to find stuff out, deciding that spending a lifetime of research in some dusty old library wasn’t worth the answer to which kitten is cutest? Now, when someone asks you something you’re not sure about you can generally find an answer within a few minutes – one second for the search, two minutes to an hour to work out which of the 100,000,000 links you got returned are telling you the most trust-worthy information. And now not only is it textual information, but finally visual and audio information are free to be searched, found and shared – as with my last post about Daedelus, where I unfortunately didn’t have a video of his box of lights but within a few seconds I found someone else’s to save me a few hundred words of description. Or maybe even a thousand or so.
All this is not a replacement for human interaction and conversation, but that can be quickly found on the internets as well. Again, one second for the search, two minutes to two days to find someone you trust, then one to two years to get rid of the embarrassing disease (if ever). Out and about in conversation with folk you meet, be it through the web or through more traditional means, how often do you wish you had access to the internet to help your conversation along or prove a point? And now you can, with the iPhone and other Internet enabled mobile devices. Or should you be suffering from a lack of face to face conversation those same devices can allow you to call friends, text people or just play games to distract from the beckoning void of loneliness. Whatever happened to just getting drunk and passing out? Another traditional art lost to the world.. unless it would make a good video for youTube, in which case it will live on forever.
So is the internet a good thing? Enabling us to move rapidly forward with our lives and goals without the endless flustering about trying to find things out. Or is life all about that finding out, so we’ve lost something important that we constantly try and reclaim elsewhere? Perhaps we’ll find it if we search on the web.