Thursday, October 11, 2001

In the World we live in today it is hard to avoid using the Internet in our daily lives. So much of how business is done today is centered on the exchange of information through wires and cables we can’t see. But despite not seeing these wires, they are certainly there, and have certainly become an intricate part of society and how it runs. Between email, business, the exchange of ideas and goods and services, the Internet has integrated itself into most everybody’s lives.
The Internet has certainly become a major component of the way I function. Despite my tendencies to try and avoid using most technologies until I am absolutely forced to, I do use the Internet quite frequently. And every now and then I transform into an online junkie. Rarely do I make it through a day when I don’t use it. One cannot be a college student these days and avoid it. Between receiving emails and doing research for various projects, one must have access to the Internet. There are also many aspects of the Internet that are use purely for entertainment purposes, but very important to me nonetheless.
It is hard to calculate exactly how much of my communication is virtual. Some days it is more than others. Certainly my time spent in virtual communication is no where near as much as real face to face communication. If it were, then I would spend 12 hours a day on the Internet. And whether that is unfortunate or not, it is just not feasible in at this point in my life to be online that much. However, the question of how much time do I spend in a virtual world forces me to ask myself another question. The real question that is important to me is not how many virtual hours do I spend on relationships, rather how many of my relationships exist in a virtual world?
Quite a large number of my relationships exist because of virtual communication, otherwise known as the Internet. When I was a senior, I went on a program with kids from all over the country to Paris, France. Needless to say, in the month I spent there I made quite a few friends. But as we are from many different places, it is difficult to keep in touch. However, the Internet makes it possible. With the Internet I can send my friends emails or catch up with them on Instant Messenger. These ways seem a lot less laborious than writing a letter or making an expensive phone call. I can honestly say that I would not have kept up with many of my relationships if not for the ease of getting online. The Internet has become seemingly more important now that I have left how to attend University. My good friend whom I grew up with are spread out all over the country. But the Internet makes me feel like that I can be in touch with them at any time. I simply Instant Messenge them and wait for a response. People don’t seem so far away when you can speak to them daily and know what is going on in their lives.
Having the Internet has had a very large impact on my work methods. Mainly this applies to research situations. I can honestly say that for many of the papers I write I never leave the comfort of my home in search of a library. Why drag myself out when I can find what I need online. There is information on anything and everything on the Internet. It is as easy as the stroke of a few keys to gain knowledge on whatever one’s heart desires. The Internet has also changed my work habits in the form of email. Email has become a completely acceptable way to communicate with those people who insist on having contact with me, such as professors. When there is a problem, I need not call my professor late at night or track them down during office hours; I can simply email him or her. The Internet has taken the hard part out of work.
It is clear to see that the Internet has revolutionized my relationships, my work, and how I communicate in general. Virtual communication is merely one more technology that facilitates communication. It makes it easy. It makes no difference if the people you want to communicate with the person next door or across the world. The Internet knows bounds. And therefore there are no limits to whom we can communicate with and my communication knows no bounds