It seems that every day I go on the Internet, every day I talk about the Internet, everyday I use the Internet.
I use the Internet to communicate, create, and research.
I use the Internet professionally, personally, intimately, and recreationally.
I am not even sure how long I have been doing this, but I know the Internet and I are friends.
Very frequently in graduate school we talk about the way our lives are shaped by the Internet and how this will impact our future. What does this communication/research tool mean? Can we trust it? What will it look like 2 years, 5 years, 10 years from now? There seem to be a lot of people who have less than harmonious relationships with the Internet. They find themselves addicted, dependent – they hate it, need it, and abhor what it has done to our culture.
I do not have these emotions. I love the Internet, I feel like it has made it easier for me to keep in touch with my family and friends all over world now that I am overseas, and when I was at home it made it possible for me to feel less alone. As a disenfranchised teenagers in a small community, having decent Internet access was important, it allows me a time, space, and community to belong to. It opened up a world of information that was fundamental in shaping me as a person.
I have, over the years found myself on board with almost every social networking site, keeping journals, diaries, profiles, feeds and whathaveyou in so many incarnations. Sometimes I feel like I need to let my places die, I stop going, open something new and am enamored with that for a time. (The latest place I have been introduced to is Tumblr – http://colva.tumblr.com/ )
While I am ambivalent about a future where we are perpetually plugged in, I feel like our current incarnation of the Internet is not the homogenizing monster we’ve been lead to believe it would be. It is not 1984 and the Internet is the cite of incredible creativity. Giving us places to create, express and share ourselves like never before. Websites like flickr, tumblr, wordpress, blogspot, myspace, twitter and even facebook give users an opportunity to forge an identity, to create a world online where they can indeed be the best version of themselves.