How can I not be grateful for the Internet? It’s given me new friends, interests, knowledge, and understanding. It makes it easier for me to intellectually or socially explore pretty much any subject I could possibly have an interest in. It can put me in practically immediate contact with practically anyone in the world. Well, for certain definitions of anyone. The contact isn’t always two-way when you’re wishing an idol or head of state happy birthday.
A while back, I read (on the Internet of course, and since it’s on the Internet it must be true, right?) that the old theory of six degrees of separation has been ground down by ease of communication and social networking on the Internet until it’s not much more than four.
What that means, practically speaking, is that I know someone who knows someone who knows the person I’m thinking about, whoever that person happens to be. (Yeah, okay, if you read the sources from whatever study that was, you actually come to 4.2° of separation, which means one time in five, I need one more “someone” in the middle.)
And that’s pretty cool. The ease of communication offered by the Internet also lets you stand up and be counted in a myriad of ways, on a variety of subjects, issues, and interests, and get your voice that much closer to the ears that matter on any of them.
The availability of the Internet has made it possible to influence or even topple governments, destroy dangerous ideologies, change minds, and bring social justice to people would never have had any.
It’s a constant fight to keep the ideas flowing freely, but that fight is always worth taking up.
You bet I’m grateful for the Internet.
Be well, everyone.