Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guest blog...Because the Internet

(I'm pleased to introduce my first guest blogger, John Peters, my 15-year-old nephew who is a freshman at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston. This was a paper for his English class)

George Orwell wrote about our destruction by things we hated like an oppressive government, but Aldous Huxley wrote about our destruction by things we loved like TV. If Huxley had written his famous book A Brave New World sometime in the last decade or so, he definitely would have included the Internet in his criticisms. The Internet has, for some, created a lifeline to other people that have the same interests or hobbies but would be otherwise unreachable. This is a very good thing most of the time, but it can sometimes cause disconnect from the present. The Internet has completely reformed the way its users and everyone around them go about their lives every day. 

The Internet is used every day and affects everyone. It is a vast and infinite tool that can figure out almost anything. The Internet is a tool that has become so essential and ubiquitous that if it were to disappear, even if for just a day, panic would ensue. We have become so reliant on the Internet that even the pettiest daily activities are planned around it. Choices of restaurants, hotels, and social event venues are often controlled by whether or not that place has an internet connection. That being said it has completely changed the way its users think, and don’t think.

The Internet has had a fair share of negative effects on its users. Its overuse can sometimes become addicting. Insomnia is one side effect of internet addiction. Internet addiction may sound rare and serious, but mild cases are shockingly widespread. What would you do in a room with a book and an iPhone? If you’re anything like me, you’d most likely disregard the book and go on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, or Facebook. It may be a sad truth to some, but it’s the truth nonetheless. The Internet has created and transferred more sub-cultures from the book to the screen than almost every work of literature. I am proud to say that I’m a recipient of the Edgar Allen Poe newsletter.
    
People that don’t know much about the Internet often assume that it consists of only Facebook and cyberbullying. But I can say first hand that the websites I visit in my free time are predominantly educational. Educational not necessarily in the school sense of the word, but more so the learning sense. I spend a large part of my recreational internet use on a website called Rapgenius.com, which is a site where users can annotate the lyrics of rap songs, rock songs, news stories, and even poetry.
    
The Internet has changed the way we look at the world, but whether it’s for better or for worse is your choice. The Internet is a community bound together by certain common interests and hobbies. It is an outlet for the oppressed, a blank slate for the voiceless, and a family for the hopeless.

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