Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?
With the internet I can make friends all over the world. I can talk to people I don’t know, I can find like minds who live miles away. I often feel utterly alone in my local, meatspace communities. I suffer from social anxiety. I find it hard to leave the house quite often. Sometimes I just can’t stand the people I meet in real life. Often I must make nice even though I dislike someone’s behaviour, or I’m “That bitch who makes waves”.
But on the internet?
I can block assholes from seeing me on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter. I can ban jerks from commenting on my blog. I don’t have to be nice for the sake of keeping up social pretences. Yes, there’s an increase in bullying and harassment because anonymity makes people brave, but there are also tools that make it a bit easier on me to deal with them — I hate confrontation in meatspace and walking away isn’t always an option. On the Internet, walking away is an option.
The internet is where I come together with people who have similar ideas as I do and we collaborate on how to make the world a better place. The internet is where I talk about things that are important to me, where I do consciousness-raising. The internet is where I work towards dismantling the oppressive kyriarchy in which we live.
Because of the internet, free apps are available to people, and I’m able to use programs like Evernote — something that literally has saved my butt as a writer. I don’t know how I got along before discovering Evernote.
(Evernote has a premium version, which I’m planning on buying when I have the money. But the internet allows me to try apps and software before paying for them as well as cutting down on packaging.)
On the internet, I have my own home — this blog. My website. These are my spaces. My online homes, as it were. I have a history of lacking a sense of home no matter where I live in meatspace, so having a sense of a place to call home online is important to me.
The internet also allows me to keep in easy contact with my meatspace friends in other parts of the world. I lived in Hawaii for 10 years, and I’ve travelled to many different countries, where I made friends from all over the world. Thanks to the internet, I can still keep in touch without racking up thousands of dollars in long-distance phone bills.
Speaking of phones — I actually hate talking on the phone. I have phone anxiety. Part of this is because I can’t see the person speaking, so I have trouble understanding what they’re saying. What I don’t have is Skype anxiety. I can Skype call my friends and chat with them without having a nervous breakdown.
The internet saved my relationship. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for almost 4 years. For the first 2 years, I was a 2 hour boat ride away and only saw Ogre once a month, if that. We Skyped and Facebooked constantly, and it kept our relationship going strong.
Now that I live a 40 minute drive away, we still Skype several times a week or send each other Facebook messages.
Without the internet, today wouldn’t be the one year anniversary of our getting engaged. Our relationship would have crumbled a while ago.
I owe so many good things in my life to the internet. And yes, I owe some bad things too, but the good things so outweigh the bad that I am being completely honest when I say:
To me, the internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And sliced bread is pretty awesome. I mean, I can’t be the only person who cuts zirself when trying to slice whole loaves, right?