Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought to control, to manipulate and to command. It lies in our blood. We are a jealous master and we demand full obedience. We share this great planet with an infinite number of other species, although we are the true rulers of this, Garden of Eden. It is not body strength, but sheer intelligence; that gives us the power to rise up, mighty and supreme into the realms of immortality. We learned to tame the fire, to use it as both a tool and as a weapon. We discovered that it is a life giver, and a life taker. And from that fire, from that very cave, it once burned in; that deep chamber that once harbored our children, we have risen to new heights. Within the space of no more than one hundred years, we have gone from manpower to machine power. We have met the Industrial Revolution full on; have witnessed the invention of the car, the airplane and the space rocket. We have lessened our burden and lightened our load at every opportunity.
One invention that has changed us beyond the imaginations of most, is the computer. The computer: a screen, a keyboard and a hard disk…is that it? If you are asking me, then you are asking the wrong person. I haven’t sat at a desk for hours on end, listening to some know it all, spreading computer technology about the classroom like whispers in a microchip wind. I haven’t been pumped full of megabyte jargon and gigabyte knowledge. I know how the computer works, I just don’t know why. It has all been trial and error for me and even though I get by, I am really out of my depth most of the time.
My first computer encounter was back in 1994. It was a daunting time for me, a frightening time and a terribly worrying time for me. I was entering a brave new world, a world that I never understood and worse still, thought I never would. Since that time of fear and of worry though, I have come a long way. I am no longer afraid to touch a button for fear of losing valuable information, actually feel at ease with my best friend, the computer.
1996 offered the email. The email gave me the opportunity of communicating with friends and family back home. No longer was I bound by a telephone bill that I probably wouldn’t be able to pay for. I could write to them at local prices and they could write back the same day, if they wanted to. The email was then, my next big step into another world.
Then in 1997 came, for me, the Internet, yet another interesting and educational tool. I am in no way an expert, merely a person who knows roughly how to find the information that I deem necessary. At first the Internet was a means to an end, a way of finding publishing companies and other such interesting information.
Internet: self; explanatory really. Inter: as in, ‘international’, the world, no longer the country I find myself in; no longer the Continent, but the world, international. Net: as in an expanse of something capable of containing something else. An international net: the Internet.
Now, being the curious person that I am, I couldn’t just sit and rest with what I knew. I soon realized, there are two sides to the Internet, just as there are two sides to everything. For school children, in search of information for a school project, the possibilities are endless. No longer do they need to spend hours at the local library, sifting through mountains of paperwork, until fingers want to drop off and die. All of a sudden, it’s just a matter of sitting down at home and browsing. If the chosen subject is history, then one can find history until it comes out of ones ears. If the chosen subject is geography, then one can find geography in leaps and bounds… No matter what it is, it is there. And so it is fair to say, the Internet is a good thing, for it serves us well in our daily lives. If one does find something one might want to read again at a later date, then it is just a matter of saving it and reading it again at a later date.
A continuation follows in two days…