Had an interesting conversation today with a work colleague, talking about what life was like before the internet. In NZ we got publically accessible internet in the late 90s. I personally got connected in 1997. We had dialup at $5 a minute!!! and I discovered the joy of Usenet groups and Free Agent.
Finding that the world had people interested in the things that I was, who were out there and discussing it and sharing information FOR FREE was a revelation to me. I read a lot of SciFi and Fantasy books and I found a group who discussed them, there were even actual authors taking part. For someone living in NZ and being so isolated from the rest of the world, limited to what products were bought in by importers, the internet was a treasure trove of unending delights.
I still remember the feeling of delight at placing my first Amazon order, and the anticipation as I waited many weeks for it to arrive and the amazement and joy when it did. A whole new world of experiences was now open to me, communication with like minded people who shared my interests and wanted to talk about them. So many new friends were made, new things learnt, new delights that the rest of the world already knew about were uncovered.
Now it is almost a given that in first world countries you will have some form of internet access almost anywhere but I remember what it was like BEFORE we had it. Now nearly 20 years later, I am able to share these thoughts with you via a new internet based medium, the communication and relationships are still being facilitated by this digital revolution. Instantly sharing photos, words and thoughts, having real time responses still has the power to make me realise just how powerful a force the internet is.
Many of you reading this will not remember life before the internet, it has been there as long as you can remember. It would be difficult for you to imagine life before it, and I don’t expect you to try.
But now and then take a moment, just a moment, to appreciate that it *is* a truly marvellous thing, and my life is certainly better for having access to it, and if you are reading this blog post, hopefully yours is too 🙂