I love the internet and would be lost without it these days. Yes, I lived quite happily for some forty five years without it but now I am so used to it being part of my life.
We hear plenty about the negative aspects of the internet. However, for me, the internet brings pleasure into my life and there are many more ways I could use it.
Information I sometimes wonder how we found out anything before the internet. Now, instead of consulting an encyclopaedia or a reference book we turn to the internet. There is no need to make a trip to the library as most people have a great source of information in their own home. We are able to get recent information, not just in the form of the written word, but as photos, videos, podcasts and so forth.
I studied at university in the seventies and again about ten years ago. I certainly noticed a difference in the way one researched for an essay. In the seventies we borrowed books from the library. Some books were on a four hour loan which meant your research had to be done in the library.
Now, most research is done using the internet. You can research in the comfort of your home at any hour. One does need to be careful of the source, whether you are getting information for study or your personal interest. Information overload can be a problem. However the internet is such a convenient way to quickly get information on just about anything.
Writing I love the ease with which one can publish articles and other forms of writing using the internet. Hub Garden is a great site for this.
There are various ways of setting up a blog or website. The internet provides many options for people to get their writing, photography, music or other form of creativity out there.
Entertainment When I read about a singer I have never heard of, I often turn to YouTube for a sample. Sites such as Spotify, Pandora and MOGFreePlay allow access to music for free. I have only used Spotify but plan to check out other sites one day.
I have bought a few songs through ITunes and have read about other sites including 7digital, MP3Panda and LegalSounds with claims they are cheaper. Again, these are sites I will probably investigate sometime. There are plenty of options for accessing, not just music, but many forms of entertainment on the internet.
Convenience On line shopping is very convenient. Just about anything can be ordered online, whether it be groceries, furniture, books, clothes, DVDs, car parts or pizza for tea. An increasing number of people are making use of online shopping. These services can be particularly convenient for people who are housebound due to disability or aging.
When I was looking for a house to buy I was able to check out numerous properties using the internet. It certainly saved me a lot of time.
Online banking is quick and convenient. Likewise, paying bills online and direct debit are useful. I forgot just how convenient online banking is until I was without the internet for a couple of weeks.
Many things such as travel, accommodation, courses, seminars and entertainment can be booked online. In fact, it doesn't seem there is much which can't be done online.
Communication Although modern technology has reduced the amount of face to face contact for some people, it has improved communication for others. Skype allows people to make contact with family and friends wherever they are in the world.
Facebook enables people to keep in touch and makes it easy to share photos and things one has come across on the internet as well as the written word. Yes, Facebook has its drawbacks. Personally, I don't make a great deal of use of it but it is there when I want to use it. Other forms of social media have their place as well.
Organisations send their newsletters via the internet and many companies have blogs and websites to keep their clients and customers up to date with products and services that are available.
The internet provides much more than I am aware of or need to know about. I do appreciate living in a time when the internet is available as one source of convenience and pleasure.