Initially, I took an immediate dislike to the Internet.  Like many people brought up on a diet of pens, pencils and typewriters, I was suspicious of what I probably regarded as another trend.  Then, in 1998, someone told me they might have a spare typewriter I could have, but the typewriter never materialised, so a friend lent me her word processor.

Imagine the excitement and fascination…I could already touch type, but the machine in front of me offered a lot more.  It allowed me to save work to a disk and copy/move sections of writing, and it also checked for spelling errors.  And there were plenty of those at first.  As I writer, I believed that I’d found the most valuable tool for writing.

At around the same time, one of my friends bought his first computer and we often had friendly arguments about which was better – a PC or a standard word processor?  To cut a very long story short, my friend created a Hotmail account for me that I still use today for email and storing documents, although I couldn’t see any point of having the account at first.  Within a few months, however, I’d brought my own computer and gone on an IT course.   I’ve never looked back.  Over the coming years, I studied HTML and CSS and learnt how to design basic websites.  I even enjoy reading books on Troubleshooting!

I still, of course, value life away from the computer.  Equally, I can’t imagine life without the computer or the Internet.  So why do I like the Internet so much? 

  • People with access to the Internet (they don’t even need to have a connection at home) can publish almost anything on the Web, usually for free.   Photographs. Pieces of music. Books and articles. Magazines.  Digital radio shows.  Films.  And a lot more.
  • People can download fully functioning programs (Open Source) for free, including website builders, word processing facilities, spreadsheets, digital photography and sound editing.  A few years ago, these programs would have cost a lot of money.
  • The average citizen can start a blog and engage in journalism.
  • Elderly people have an opportunity to record their memoirs for future generations. (I particularly like this.)
  • Artists, musicians and writers can showcase their work for free.
  • People can track down old friends and keep up with present friends without needing to go out and buy stamps.
  • Web 2.0 sites enable the average person to create the media content of their own choice.  The Internet revolution of the last few years is, quite literally, a revolution.

Just a few of my reasons.


9 thoughts on “What I Like Most About The Internet

  1. I love the Internet, because it’s opened my world. I have a profound hearing impairment that is making it increasingly difficult to be in groups or around people, but online, ah! here I don’t have to hear! ;-D

    And the wonderful people I’ve met! My life would be very diminished if I were to lose my online friends.

    And to think, Lawrence, I had the same attitude as you did in the early days.

    It’s funny how experiences can change our attitudes.

  2. I loved your view of IT and wish that I could share it. Thinks it is because I worked in an office on a computer for so many years that I found it to be a bit of a bind.

    Naturally the computers of old or word processors functioned accordingly in place of typewriters, but give me a typewriter any day to go at the speed that I want even though I type very fast. I think that Danielle Steel and Frederick Forsyth still use a typewriter for their books and they do alright.

    Its a matter of choice and outlook and as you say the world is a different place when you have it in front of you.

    Try reading ‘my cousin Rachel’ by Daphne Du Maurier. Its wonderful. Incidently Dr. Wolman from Disbury passed away last week. Thought you may be interested.

  3. Thanks. I have a lot of respect for the humble typewriter, which is the instrument I began on.

    Dr Wolman? I’m not sure I remember him at all.

  4. Great post, Lawrence. “I even enjoy reading books on Troubleshooting!” lol I know what you mean. Some fascinating info out there for many who enjoy online activities and such. BTW, very nice pics on your Flckr Photoshoot.

  5. As a personal addendum to Teresa’s comments: My father got his first computer at the age of 79. He turned 87 this past December. He had polio at the age of thirteen and has been suffering progressive hearing loss through most of my life. In essence, he is clinically deaf. Were it not for the computer and the internet, he would be lost and his children and grandchildren and great grand children would only be able to communicate by snail mail (which now seems to be completely losing its allure).
    These personal benefits are the most warming and endearing.

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