Has it always been there for you, or is it something that came later in your life? Which aspect has had the greatest effect on you? If you could, would you make it disappear forever?
For me? Later, eBay, yes.
Later. Porn. Yes.
Its popularity arrived in my mid-30s.
It has changed a world of things for me, enabling far reaching connections of many sorts and levels (news, information, goods, communication, entertainment...) even as it allowed me to move away from a large city to a small town and then to the country. I work from home and see a corporate office maybe one afternoon in a year.
Make it disappear? Certainly not.
The minute the internet became available in my job YEARS ago (sometime in the 90s) I was hooked. The ability to communicate with people and find information so quickly is a wonderful thing. I hope it never goes away. If I could get rid of one thing, thouhg, it would be Facebook. I have an account so I can keep in touch with family but have since regretted starting it. I post rarely but the stuff that some people put out there is ridiculous. I also realized how many of my so called friends are closed minded people.
Although I had used computers in the medical field for years, I was dragged kicking and screaming to my first personal PC in 1999. I am old and a bit of a challenge with the only connections available being dial up. I did not enjoy it but used it for a business venture that I had much success with.
Today you would need a swat team to get it away from me. On the rare occasion the internet is down it is like waiting for life to begin again.
The instant information has led to me throwing away all books.
topical discussion forums (changed/saved my life);
I was 40 in the mid 1990s when the Internet began to come on stream in a big way.
The availability of any information immediately has had the greatest effect. I rarely buy anything in a store, and all of my finances are on line. And, of course, an infinite amount of porn.
No, I would certainly not want it to go away.
Early to mid 30s for me. Initially, there was limited content but AOL made early attempts at organization. I found some community through the internet and connected with others. It's now a staple in my day for work and leisure. Nearly everything I do, I do through the internet… Research for work, collaborative meetings for work, banking, shopping, porn, navigation, news, socializing, e-books. I rarely go to the bank, read a newspaper, go to the mall, the post office, the library or bookstore.
I don't think I would want it to ago away, but I do think it has contributed to some social awkwardness on my part. I interact face to face or via the phone less that I used to and to that end, I wish I could step away from the internet to strengthen relationships with others.
I can't imagine how paralyzed the world would become without access to instant information.
personally i'm a luddite. tech will not be our savior. read ted kaczynski's manifesto. yes he was crazy as hell but was he completely wrong?
Holy shit, some of you are old.
old but wise. read youngies.
I am 48. On one hand technological change occurs slowly but also very swiftly, if that makes sense. I remember being in an office job and hearing about how we were going to get email and many of us weren’t sure what that meant. Until then all communication was by phone, and voicemail itself was fairly new. I laugh now thinking about when faxing became popular and people would complain how much they hate faxes because it means they have to work on something instantly instead of putting it off until it arrived in the mail. If only we knew what it would be like a few years later when it’s one big barrage of email with attachments, cc’s of things you don’t need to know, etc. Several years later, the internet really took off and we had access at work only at one designated terminal. One morning the manager came in and found a VERY filthy picture left up on the screen. At home, a few friends and family members got into WebTv before they ever got a pc. WebTV was cool because you could surf favorite web pages on a big tv while trotting on the treadmill if you wanted. Of course now you can do that with your big screen tv and a laptop. As for the internet itself, the best thing for me about it is the access to instant information. As a follower of the entertainment industry, before the internet I got my info from TV Guide and other periodicals, watching shows like Showbiz Today on CNN and Entertainment Tonight. In college I would usually spend several hours a week in the magazine section reading periodicals with information I can now get at my fingertips. And of course, pron. Before internet pron, you had to buy magazines or VHS tapes (then dvds), and that would involve either mail order or going to a newsstand/book store or even an “adult bookstore”. Now THAT was always uncomfortable and embarrassing!
Speaking of bookstores, anyone remember the one in Philly around 11th and Market? I think it was called Wild West. Went in there As a teen to buy a magazine and a handful of loiterers were in the doorway of the video section watching me.
The internet appeared to me in 1995, in the form of AOL. I needed some old tapes for a show I was going to write for, and was told the easiest way to get them was to ask on the AOL fan group. Right they were.
Its greatest effect is probably the way it changed shopping and selling. I've been able to buy old stuff I would not have been able to find otherwise. And I can sell stuff of mine. It had never occurred to me to sell any of my things prior to eBay and Amazon Marketplace.
The thing I like least about it is also shopping-related. Where I live, there are no easily-reached bookstores, and the only record (or CD) stores left are one used record store and a chain of CD stores in which the merch is captured behind glass doors which you have to ask a hipster to open for you.
I go back and forth as to whether I'd like it to go away. I really spent a lot of time in record and bookstores, and I miss being able to do that. But I also realize that, as much as I miss going to stores, I also miss the people with whom I often went shopping, and nothing can ever bring them back.
I'm a big music fan and throughout my teens and twenties had to carefully budget in order to afford new cassettes or CDs each month.
And then came napster and my quest to access and acquire awesome music was changed forever.
49 yr-old here. I also realize it's because of the internet that malls no longer hold appeal for me. It used to be the book and record stores that I would gravitate to. Now it's clothes and shoes. That being said, before the internet it would be a special treat to drive out to Tower records (30 minutes away) because browsing through there was a lot of fun, finding cd's/tapes I wouldn't find at Sam Goody at the mall. Tower was like the internet before the internet.
I got my first computer at 31. I remember a world where I drove to the library if I had to do research or where I went to the record/video store to buy a CD or rent a video. I'm glad I experienced a world without internet although I admit, I would never want to go back. My experience with people who have known nothing but the internet is that they're lazy.
It wasn't that long ago that there was a certain amount of "suspense" in hustling over to the video store on Friday night to see if the latest hit movie was in stock! And having to settle for something else when it wasn't available.
Got online at age 27. Staying connected with friends. No, I would NOT delete the 'Net -- though I like the idea of a regular Internet-free weekend. If I can just get myself motivated to do it ...
I saw it evolve. Started using e-mail for work in 1990. My friends who were in science or engineering had been using it for a while.
Then had a Compuserve account at home. The computer only showed text (all the same size and color) and the monitor was the size of a VW. I remember the first time I saw images (crude animation--not photographs) on a computer I was impressed.
Biggest change is e-mail. To quote Arcade Fire, "we used to write letters."