Being a child of the early 80s, I’m not exactly an “old soul”, but sometimes I reminisce about various norms of my childhood; snail mail was the only form of mail, home phones had cords long enough your mom could reach the stove to cook dinner and talk on the phone, movies on VHS tapes, cassette tapes, the list goes on and on. I am guessing several of us remember our first computers with black screens and orange or green type followed by good ole dial up Internet where AOL and its “you’ve got mail” chime became a hit.
The Internet has evolved in such a way we do not know what to do without it. We carry it with us everywhere we go via our cell phones, tablets, laptops, watches, and now even automobiles. The ease of being able to Google or better yet tell Siri or any voice command system to Google for us is no longer new but the norm. Social media has opened doors to documenting our lives in present time, which can be good and bad. When the Internet connection is slow or even fails for a brief moment, it seems as if we forgot how to operate without it; we do not want to wait, we get impatient, and we want our answers or our picture posted now.
I very much appreciate being able to send someone an email or typing in a quick address to get directions. The ability to take pictures posted on social media and create photo books allows for an easy baby book or grandparent gift. I might be lost (literally) without the internet, yet I sometimes yearn to live in what seemed like more simplistic times of phone books, Mapscos, snail mail, and using actual printed dictionaries and encyclopedias. Maybe I am crazy for missing life without the Internet, but the current time in which we live seems to be a bit full of distraction with each new break through in the Internet speed.
I strongly dislike how I or rather we all have become glued to our devices to catch the latest snap chat, tweet, insta story, work email, and aimless browsing. The internet has allowed us to feel like we are “missing out”, when in actuality, we are missing out on what or who is in front of us in true present time. When I have taken a brief hiatus from different aspects of the internet, social media and aimless browsing to be specific, I find I am a much more engaged friend, mom, and wife. My distraction is with who is in front of me. I struggle with simply picking up my phone to click on something fueled by the Internet to realize I have done so out of boredom or habit. Furthermore, Googling sometimes only leads to more angst and fear as we look up medical diagnosis or accidentally type in a misspelled word leading us to a crazy website.
The Internet is going to continue to expand, increase in speed, and create more distractions. I love how fast I can find answers, yet hate how much of my time I allow it to consume.
The Internet is like a relationship you love, but want to break-up with every day.