The internet has increasingly become a more integral part of my life since its introduction. In the early years I saw little value in the internet at the time as it was essentially infrastructure without content, kind of like railroad tracks without a train.
I believe today we are starting to see glimpses of what the Internet’s full potential. I still believe the internet is still in its infancy. As with the airplane, I think it will take time to see what it evolves into, as the Wright Brother’s airplane evolved into the space shuttle within 80 years.
As the internet grew it replaced traditional business that relied on traditional brick and mortar stores. The first significant feature was the ability to surf the internet for airline tickets, now the possibilities seem endless.
Let’s use last night for an example. In August I plan on flying to Vava’u, a remote island in the Tongan archipelago, to film and photograph humpback whales. I have never been to Tonga and didn’t know the best way to get there flying so I searched the internet and quickly found the correct route, selected flights and seats on each plane, found a reasonable fare, booked a hotel to stay at after reading reviews, researched exchange rates and explored additional things to see in Fiji, Tonga and Tahiti. I then read the history of Tonga, researched weather patterns and annual water temperatures, all from the comfort of my couch within two hours. Shortly after that I pulled up a couple of YouTube video blogs on photography to keep new advancements in technology.
Another research project last night was to find the deepest depth of water off of Oahu that is within a comfortable swimming distance. Within minutes I was able to find a great interactive website that quickly helped me find a depth of 86 feet of water within 1/10 of a mile from shore. I thought that was pretty amazing.
I feel life without the internet can be primitive and inefficient as it’s an incredible resource that allows me to know the answer to nearly any question within seconds. With that said, there is now something special about turning off smartphones and heading out on a hike in Hawaii or just heading out into the ocean to swim with wildlife and disconnecting for a day. There are definitely pros and cons to the internet, the better it gets the harder it is to disconnect but at the same time it makes time disconnect even better. Everything in moderation is healthy. It’s important to set limits as most people in western society today either have their phone clenched in their hand or their eyes constantly looking up from the internet during dinner, conversations with friends, while crossing streets, at sporting events, while driving, while watching movies in a theater, etc. The list goes on.
The more people become connected to the internet the less connected they seem to be to real people. I try to limit my usage of the internet and use it as a part time tool, a way of communicating with friends and family, and as a part time outlet for entrainment.