If you follow me around, you may find me using the Internet or social media most of the time when I am not driving, taking shower, eating meals, socializing, running errands, talking to my wife and children, doing chores, visiting doctors, exercising, watching movies, reading, writing or sleeping. One reason why you’ll find me on the internet is my paperless way of life. I read books, newspapers and magazines on digital platforms. I don’t carry voluminous dictionary or thesaurus, I check the words on line. I do my banking and bill payments digitally. I find that more convenient.
You will also find me on the Internet because I keep in touch with my readers, friends and relatives through email and social media. I don’t find anything wrong in that. People complain that the Internet and social media have made us impersonal and detached with the rest of the world. On the contrary, before the advent of the Internet and social media, I hardly kept in touch with my long lost friends and relatives. I am more connected to them now than I was ever before. We’ll soon be entering the third decade of the twenty-first century. If we don’t adopt to the new ways soon, we will be fossils.
Yes, I am completely dependent on the internet. I use the internet for learning, for entertainment and for working. I am learning new crafts, meeting fellow authors, business partners and clients through the new innovation. I am also learning new languages without any expense or hassle.
If you are one of the people on the planet who has the privilege of being able to access the network of networks, you must know that you have access to a tool that can bring about a great improvement in your life; provide health tips and instant knowledge on any topic under the stars. That is, of course, as long as we apply common sense when using it.
I know many folks who are getting online degrees. I taught online for the University of Phoenix for years. My students were soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, air hostesses who logged in from wherever they were at the time and handicapped (yes, I prefer handicap instead of physically challenged) folks who were not privy to continued education before. Besides that, many universities including MIT have their courses online for anyone to peruse.
I also love the way the Internet users are enriching the English language. Remember, language is dynamic. Those who do not adopt to changes die. English is a dynamic language. It has changed from Chaucer to Shakespeare to the modern day. I feel that writing or saying ‘LOL’ is more expressive than stating, “I am breaking into laughter.” I have no qualms about using ‘B2B’ instead of “business to business.” As a matter of fact, that sounds more slick and business like. For the same reason I don’t say, “Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit” anymore (Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet). I prefer to say, “You’ll lay on your back when you grow up.” (A sexual innuendo to baby Juliet).
Unfortunately, it has become fashionable to blame social media for everything that ails our society. Do you know how the social media is helping people in rural India? Facebook, the famous social networking site has helped to make a difference in lives of rural people. It saved many farmers of Maharashtra from perishing due to oversupply of turmeric. Using social media, 25000 turmeric farmers boycotted the distributors of turmeric. The boycott served its purpose as the prices doubled. Farmers were quick to point out the advantages of social media.
Social media networks have played a pivotal role in improving the health of rural people and creating awareness among rural people. Also, media has played a role of whistle blower in case of poor quality of mid-day meals provided to children in rural schools in India. I rather like to see those villagers hooked to the Internet than rusticating in the dark world of ignorance and antiquity.
Fear of technology is nothing new. Before we became the digitally-driven society we are today, fear of new technology commonly served as one of the greatest threats to innovation. What we see as dated and relatively harmless inventions of the past were once the new technology that people freaked out about.
When the telegraph was first introduced, critics insisted the new technology would ruin the poetry of the English language. The widespread belief was that by encouraging people to communicate in short, incomplete sentences, the telegraph would eventually train people to always speak in sporadic, choppy thoughts.
There was a fear that radio would turn people away from reading or having intimate conversations with one another. Sounds familiar?
So, the next time you follow me around and find me using the Internet or social media when I am not driving, taking shower, eating meals, socializing, running errands, talking to my wife and children, doing chores, visiting doctors, exercising, watching movies, reading, writing or sleeping, please don’t call me an addict.
“Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall”