Wordsmith prompt #3: What event do you think impacted the world the most?
I will cheat. This isn’t necessarily a single event, but one which has progressed and lasted many years….the creation and evolution of the internet.
The internet has changed everything: how we communicate, how we buy and sell things, how we entertain ourselves, how we create and produce art, how we go to war…It has sped everything up. Two-day delivery. Millions of peoples’ reaction to the President of the United States’ last tweet. Taking classes for a few hours as opposed to a few months. Our access to knowledge and information has never been so impressive. Something can happen in Syria and we don’t have to wait for the next newspaper article to learn about it.
It has also devolved us in several ways. Having more and more interactions through a screen has made people more awkward face to face because real, human contact is not relied on as frequently. Our argumentative skills have faded. It’s one thing to type something passive-aggressive from the safety of your bedroom to someone you’ll never meet…and another thing entirely when you have the courage to criticize someone to their face and back up your claims.
Our patience has also taken a toll. We want things now. Quickly. We’ll pay for it if we have to. Gone are the days of writing letters to our friends and family and waiting weeks to receive their response in the mail. Gone are the days of having to go to a brick and mortar store, scoping through the aisles, trying things on for hours. Gone are the sidewalk anxieties of waiting to hail a cab, finally grabbing one, and realizing the cab driver is far from five stars.
I love the internet. In all of its chaos, in all of its destructive tendencies, it has allowed us to do things our parents literally couldn’t conceive of doing when they were our age. I started a podcast (my own show!) and built a website all on my own. This wasn’t because I’m some artsy, gifted individual. It’s because the internet gave me the tools in which it was so stupidly easy for me to do so. It has saved lives, changed opinions (solidified others), made us laugh until we cry, and made us more (or less) productive than we ever dreamed.
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