The Mundane Beguile

The Internet has been awesome in its short life. If the Internet was human, humans would have run experiments on its blood, brain and muscles because it’s just awesome. We can now communicate to people across the world for cheap (VoIP), see people in phone calls (Skype, FaceTime), organize revolutions (Egypt, Libya) all on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and so on). We know more about people we haven’t seen [dare I say, may never see]. This is awesome. We can follow live politics, we don’t have to guess the weather when going out. And what’s more beautiful about the Internet is its mobility. We can do most (if not all) of these things from our phones or tabs.

We could go on and on about the good of the Internet but, is it possible that there is something bad about the Internet?

Of course there are things bad with the Internet. For in every good, there is some bad and vice versa.

Privacy is the first thing that comes to mind. For instance, Facebook seldom deletes stuff. Google knows your preferences up to two years after you stop using all of Google’s products—and riddle me who can do without Gmail, let alone Google Search.

Other issues exist such as security, time, addictions, inappropriate content and censorships, theft, scams, wiretapping and so on.

One of the Internet’s quirks which intrigues me is its ability to alter our behavior per product. MySpace came along and everyone wanted to put their business online thinking it was really “their space”; oh how wrong they were. More recent is the Twitter service. Bound to 140 characters, the Twitter service has successfully curtailed our thoughts into sporadic bursts of meaninglessness. Given, Twitter generates a lot of data. Data that can be harnessed in many dimensions. But the alteration it has caused the human thinking is unthinkable. More unthinkable is the fact that we think this is okay.

As you spend time on the Internet, please be cautious as well as smart. Inasmuch as it’s useful, it may be detrimental. It’s your life; and it’s yours to develop. Don’t spend it all on a machine we created.

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